Federal Oversight of the Wireless Industry

To the extent that the wireless industry in Canada is regulated by the federal government, the Telecommunications Act has oversight. In a phone conversation with the CRTC, a spokesperson indicated that for the most part, objective 7(h), which relates to the economic and social requirements of users, is satisfied by indulging 7(f), which fosters increased reliance on market forces.

For anything but the most infrequent of social needs (such as cell phones with braille for people who are visually impaired - and even for those needs as well), the CRTC relies upon human rights acts and consumer protection legislation to ensure that industry players are not discriminatory or abusive.

Telecommunications Act (S.C. 1993, c. 38, as amended)

Canadian Telecommunications Policy


7. It is hereby affirmed that telecommunications performs an essential role in the maintenance of Canada's identity and sovereignty and that the Canadian telecommunications policy has as its objectives

(a) to facilitate the orderly development throughout Canada of a telecommunications system that serves to safeguard, enrich and strengthen the social and economic fabric of Canada and its regions;

(b) to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada;

(c) to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness, at the national and international levels, of Canadian telecommunications;

(d) to promote the ownership and control of Canadian carriers by Canadians;

(e) to promote the use of Canadian transmission facilities for telecommunications within Canada and between Canada and points outside Canada;

(f) to foster increased reliance on market forces for the provision of telecommunications services and to ensure that regulation, where required, is efficient and effective;

(g) to stimulate research and development in Canada in the field of telecommunications and to encourage innovation in the provision of telecommunications services;

(h) to respond to the economic and social requirements of users of telecommunications services; and

(i) to contribute to the protection of the privacy of persons.