November 6, 2014 – In response to this morning’s announcement by the CRTC regarding new rules that will allow Canadians to cancel or change their Internet, television, or telephone services without giving 30-day notice, OpenMedia.ca Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish said,
“We are pleased to see that the first decision coming out of the CRTC’s Let’s Talk TV consultation is a positive step forward for Canadians. During the consultation, we spoke with thousands of Canadians who expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of choice and flexibility in offerings from the Big Telecom providers. But now we’re able to move between service providers more easily without being penalized.”
Tabish continued, “The reason we won these new rules is because Canadians spoke out together. Last year, we were able to win similar rules for mobile phone users through the CRTC’s cell phone code of conduct. And now we’ve gotten them extended to wireline Internet, phone, and TV services. This is a significant step forward, but the CRTC still needs to take bold steps to ensure all Canadians can access a wider range of affordable independent options for telecom and media services.” Read more »
CCTS Annual Report reveals sharp 74% rise in complaints about misleading wireless contracts. Bell and its subsidiaries accounted for over 40% of all telecom complaints.
November 4, 2014 – Mistreatment of Canadian telecom customers is still running rampant, according to official figures released today by the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS). The CCTS Annual Report revealed that unhappy Canadians complained 11,340 times last year about their telecom service, the 2nd highest total of the past five years.
The Big Three - Bell, Rogers, and Telus, along with their subsidiaries - accounted for 77% of all complaints, with Bell alone accounting for over 40% of the total. Independent providers received considerably fewer complaints - the largest, Wind Mobile, accounted for just 4.5% of all complaints.
“It’s ridiculous that Canadians are still at the receiving end of such appalling mistreatment from the telecom giants,” said OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “This report makes clear that despite our sky high prices, Canadians are still experiencing some of the worst wireless service in the industrialized world.” Read more »
Privacy advocates hail Joyce Murray’s Private Members Bill as a step forward to boost transparency, oversight, and accountability for secretive spy agency CSEC
October 30, 2014 – Today, Members of Parliament will have an historic opportunity to start reining in Canada’s secretive spy agency CSEC (Communications Security Establishment Canada). Community-based OpenMedia.ca is calling on MPs from all parties to throw their support behind a Private Members Bill proposed by Liberal MP Joyce Murray.
MPs are set to debate the bill in the House of Commons later today. Calls for reform have been growing since it was revealed earlier this year that CSEC had spied on thousands of law-abiding Canadian air travellers and tracked their precise movements around the world.
The CSEC Accountability and Transparency Act would give MPs stronger powers of oversight and review over CSEC’s activities. It would also improve CSEC’s public reporting obligations, and require the Minister responsible for CSEC to obtain a Federal Court order whenever there is a reasonable expectation that CSEC might collect the protected information of Canadians at home or abroad. Read more »
Responding to the government’s tabling in Parliament of Bill C-44, which proposes new powers for spy agency CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service), OpenMedia executive director Steve Anderson said:
“Canadians don’t want to see last Wednesday’s tragic events to make us lose sight of the democratic values we all cherish. It’s never been more important to strike a balanced approach that safeguards the rights and freedoms we hold dear. That’s why we’ll be working with experts to analyse the potential privacy implications of this bill. We’re also very concerned about reports the government is preparing draconian new laws that could criminalize what Canadians say online.”
Anderson continued: “Sadly, given this government’s terrible track record on privacy, it’s never been more important for Canadians to stand together to ensure our freedoms are upheld. Our organization is working with thousands of everyday Canadians to help shape a positive, pro-privacy plan for sensible privacy safeguards that work for all of us in the 21st century. This is a far better way forward than proposing new spying powers without even consulting Canadians first.” Read more »
Following official confirmation from the Competition Bureau that the Big Three are artificially keeping prices high, OpenMedia and CIPPIC's joint submission to the CRTC sets out common sense steps for fixing Canada’s broken wireless market
October 24, 2014: Bold measures are required to reduce cell phone bills, rein in the Big Three, and fix Canada’s broken wireless market. That’s the message of a detailed policy submission to the CRTC by CIPPIC and community-based OpenMedia.ca, which is running a nationwide Unblock Canada campaign aimed at lowering prices and improving wireless choice for Canadians.
Launch of new pro-privacy crowdsourcing initiative comes just days after Peter MacKay’s online spying Bill C-13 passes House of Commons, and follows over a year of revelations about the activities of Canada’s spy agency CSEC
October 22, 2014 – Canadians are working together to shape a new pro-privacy action plan to help address the government’s privacy deficit. That’s the message of a new crowdsourcing initiative that aims to gather the views of everyday Canadians and Internet users about priorities for privacy online. The project is led by community-based OpenMedia.ca, which is leading a diverse national pro-privacy coalition supported by over 60 organizations and 40,000 Canadians.
The new crowdsourcing tool includes a drag-and-drop feature enabling Canadians to set out their priorities when it comes to privacy, and also seeks citizen input on a wide range of privacy issues. Feedback from the tool will be analyzed and used to shape a crowdsourced set of key policy recommendations for decision-makers early next year, with input from privacy experts across the country. The launch of the tool comes just days after Peter MacKay’s spying legislation Bill C-13 passed the House of Commons on Monday, and follows over a year of revelations about how Canada’s spy agency CSEC has monitored law-abiding Canadians. Read more »