Stephen Harper is wading into the debate about cellphone contracts and lauding new rules that would allow Canadians to cancel their wireless contracts without penalty after two years.
Mr. Harper’s Facebook page added a post on July 3 with a photo that reads: “Canadians should be allowed to cancel their cellphone contracts after two years without cancellation fees.”
It asks Canadians to sign a petition of sorts that appears to be a way for the Conservative Party to collect names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of sympathetic voters.
The Facebook page is maintained by the Conservative Party, not the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Prime Minister’s intervention came just after news broke that wireless incumbents are launching a court challenge of part of the new rules.
That’s the same day The Globe and Mail reported that Bell, Rogers and Telus and other regional incumbents are asking the Federal Court of Appeal to give them a break of sorts on this new wireless code of conduct.
The new consumer code for the $19-billion wireless industry, written by Canada’s telecom regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, takes effect this December.
Under the new rules, consumers who sign a contract would pay the full cost of their handset within two years. The code’s provisions would apply to all wireless contracts no later than June 3, 2015.
Incumbents complain the telecom regulator is overstepping its bounds by retroactively applying the wireless code to existing contracts.
This means wireless companies that are still selling three-year contracts would not be able recover the entire device subsidy from consumers whose contracts expire after June 3, 2015.