rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Cell Phone Providers Step Up their Price Gouging

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $1 per month!

This is exactly what we at OpenMedia.ca were afraid would happen. It looks like we’re about to see new texting charges imposed on our telecom bills for no reason. Telus has already sent a message to customers announcing an arbitrary new fee on text messages that cross the Canada-U.S. border. It’s a cash grab and everyone knows it, but we can stop Big Telecom’s new fees if you raise your voice now.

Big telecom companies can only price-gouge us like this because the government refuses to enforce its own rules. As the Globe and Mail recently revealed, Big Telecom giant Rogers Communications is trying to obtain scarce wireless assets from Shaw that were originally set aside for new affordable telecom options for Canadians. This takeover is in clear conflict with both the letter and spirit of Industry Canada rules, which are supposed to ensure we have access to affordable independent telecom options.

OpenMedia.ca joined experts and advocates to send a letter to Industry Minister Christian Paradis about Rogers’ plan to break those rules by obtaining set-aside wireless assets. While Paradis is feeling the pressure from Canadians and signaling discomfort with the Shaw-Rogers deal, he has so far refused to enforce his government’s own rules to stop the appropriation of these important wireless assets.

This is only the beginning. The Industry Minister’s inaction has left a vacuum for Big Telecom to act with impunity, and as Big Telecom conglomerates often mimic each others’ price-gouging we can expect providers to add new fees across the board if we don’t speak up.

As if these threats weren’t enough, it seems that all three of Canada’s major independent mobile providers are now up for sale, and Telus is even making moves to take over Mobilicity.

Canadian families and businesses already pay some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for some of the worst service. Our country simply cannot afford to have three mobile telecom giants indiscriminately breaking government rules, so that they have the power to impose new fees on Canadians at will. Big Telecom is destroying Canadians’ freedom to choose low-cost independent cell phone options so they can unilaterally add new fees to your bill at any time. But you can stop them.

Please take a moment to send a message to all the party leaders (including Stephen Harper) now. We know that if the party leaders hear your voice right now it could tip the balance and force the government into action.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.