Charlie Angus stands with Northerners and ONTERA workers who rallied in Cochrane today (Friday) against the impacts of the sale of ONTERA to Bell Alliant on Northerners. ONTERA’s telecommunications network was put in place as part of a public commitment to connect parts of Northeastern Ontario that were not being covered by the private carrier. New Democrats share the concern about the impact of the sale on competition and on new players coming into smaller communities in the north.


Angus says this proposed sale still has many questions that haven’t been answered. “Because of our concerns, New Democrats wrote the Competition Bureau and we stand with Northerners who rallied in Cochrane. If this sale is approved, the question must be asked – what conditions will be applied that will ensure access for small competitors wishing to utilize the former ONTERA infrastructure. ONTERA is pivotal to our region’s need for competition and service affordability.”


ONTERA is currently the wholesale provider of telecommunications services to private companies in our regions which underpin our local economies in the digital age. This sale reminds northerners of the recent changes to ONTC and the closure of the Northlander train.


Angus says he has heard a wide variety of concerns about the potential impact on competition as Bell Alliant becomes the sole private sector owner of ONTERA’s telecommunications network. Similarly to standing up for ONTERA, Angus says New Democrats continue to stand by the ONTC and call for the Northlander to be brought back in our region.


“The ONTERA sale is reminding Northerners what they learnt in the changes made to ONTC and the closure of the Northlander Train- that these decisions need to be made with a focus on the impacts on northerners in mind. The future productivity and health of the Northern Ontario economy is reliant on fair and competitive access to the digital economy”.