Ministry to review foreign ownership caps

13 Apr 2005

The Canadian government is considering plans to amend foreign ownership limits on telecoms companies as part of a wider review of the country’s telecoms sector. Industry Minister David Emerson reiterated the government’s current position vis à vis foreign ownership but went on to say that ‘if there are compelling reasons why foreign ownership restrictions are an impediment to the competitiveness of the Canadian economy and consumer choice, and access of Canadians to telecommunications services and so on, then that issue will be reviewed and considered’. Emerson added that a three-person panel has been set up to review current regulations, as part of the commitment set down in the federal government’s February budget. The regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, has long been criticised for its slowness in implementing change. Fixed line and wireless operator BCE says it takes too long to make its rulings, noting that pricing decisions take twice as long as they did five years ago.