NDP MPs Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury) and Charlie Angus have written the commissioner of the Competition Bureau of Canada about the potential impacts on Northerners of the sale of ONTERA to Bell Alliant. 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.


The New Democrats are concerned about the impact of the sale on competition and new players coming into smaller communities in the north.


“We have 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. The future productivity and health of the Northern Ontario economy is reliant on fair and competitive access to the digital economy. It is crucial for Northern Ontario that this deal receives due diligence and a rigorous investigation.”


ONTERA is currently the wholesale provider of telecommunications services to the private companies in our regions which underpin our local economies in the digital age.


Angus says that’s why new Democrats asked the Competition Bureau to initiate an investigation into this acquisition of ONTERA by Bell Aliant, and its impact on competition and rates for telecommunication services in North Eastern Ontario. 


"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?”


***Letter to Competition Bureau attached***