What each political party is saying about UBB and Net Neutrality

Posted by Kole McRae

There’s a lot of talk around Ottawa about a possible spring election and whether Canadians want one or not, it’s probably going to happen. To help make your voting decision a little easier I’m going to do a run down of what each political party has to say when it comes to net neutrality and usage based billing.

Conservative Party

Lets start with the most vocal party on this issue. Not long after Open Media’s petition started hitting staggering numbers the Conservative party came out against usage based billing. Industry minister Tony Clement railed against the CRTC for destroying competition. Prime Minister Steven Harper vowed to overturn the CRTC if they made a decision in favour of UBB.

Many people believe this is just a political move since the Harper government is the one who appointed each member of the CRTC.

Liberal Party

Today the Liberal party asked Canadians to co-sign a letter to the CRTC “calling on the CRTC to expand the scope of its study.” this does not mean they are asking the CRTC to outright cancel UBB like the Conservative party is calling for but it is a pretty strong stance to make.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff had this to say on the subject:

“Canadian families and businesses need open, affordable, unlimited internet access. The future of our economy depends on it. The Conservative government should have known that from the start.”

NDP

Instead of going the more traditional route like the Conservatives and the Liberals the NDP decided to hold Twitter Rallies against UBB. The first was on February 4th at Yonge and Dundas square in Toronto. They tweeted about the rally and answered questions via Charlie Angus’s twitter account.

They have also released press releases saying things like:

“We’ve seen this all before with cell phones,” said Angus. “Allowing the Internet Service Providers to ding you every time you download is a rip-off. Canada is already falling behind other countries in terms of choice, accessibility and pricing for the Internet.”

Green Party

The Green party’s opinion of Net Neutrality is best summed up in their official policy:

“The Green Party of Canada is committed to the original design principle of the internet - network neutrality: the idea that a maximally useful public information network treats all content, sites, and platforms equally, thus allowing the network to carry every form of information and support every kind of application. Green Party MPs will pass legislation granting the Internet in Canada the status of Common Carrier - prohibiting Internet Service Providers from discriminating due to content while freeing them from liability for content transmitted through their systems.”

As of right now they haven’t made any huge public opinions on the UBB scandal but did side with Open Media.

It seems every single Canadian political party is against UBB and for Net Neutrality but for some reason we are seriously considering both. This may be sign of a much deeper issue that needs to be resolved. We are a democracy and both the people and the political parties have spoken, so why is this an issue?

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is an independent public organization that regulates and supervises the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications systems. The CRTC does not regulate newspapers, magazines, cell phone rates, the quality of service and business practices of cell phone companies, or the quality and content of TV and radio programs. As an independent... more


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Kole McRae

Kole McRae

Kole is a tech journalist and all round nice guy. He was built by a mad scientist with the parts of lesser writers. He was made to destroy the world but ends up just eating ramen all day and writing tech news. more




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