COMPETITION BUREAU MAKE BEST OF BAD DEAL ON ONTERA

Charlie Angus says the Competition Bureau’s review of the Ontario Liberal government’s sale of ONTERA shows just what a bad deal it is for northern Ontario. The Bureau found that the fire sale of ONTERA’s fibre optic and telecommunications network would have had a negative impact on competition in Northern Ontario. However, the Competition Bureau has little ability to block the sale and have opted to have Bell Alliant lease the network to a third party (East Link) to ensure that there is some ability for new players to enter the market.

 

Angus says he thanks the Competition Bureau for their work but points out that their hands were tied.

 

“The Competition Bureau had few tools to deal with what was a very bad fire sale of a key resource for Northern Ontario. At the very least the Bureau recognized that this deal would have been detrimental to bringing better options for telecom services in the north. The leasing deal is an attempt to limit the obvious damage being done by this deal.”

 

Timiskaming-Cochrane MPP John Vanthof says the selloff of the North’s public infrastructure continues to have negative impacts.

 

“The Liberal government shows that is just doesn’t get the importance of infrastructure in northeastern Ontario. New Democrats provincially and federally pushed back against this fire sale. We are continuing to put the pieces back together from this short-sighted approach to our northern economy.”