Evidence of meeting #65 for Finance in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was spectrum.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Mirko Bibic  Executive Vice-President, Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, BCE Inc. and Bell Canada
  • David Coles  President, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
  • Gary Wong  Director, Legal Affairs, Data and Audio-Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc., Mobilicity
  • Bruce Kirby  Vice-President, Strategy and Business Development, Public Mobile
  • Simon Lockie  Chief Regulatory Officer, Wind Mobile
  • Len Zedel  Memorial University of Newfoundland, As an Individual
  • Bob Kingston  National President, Agriculture Union
  • Philippe Bergevin  Senior Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe Institute
  • David Skinner  President, Consumer Health Products Canada
  • Matthew Holmes  Executive Director, Canada Organic Trade Association
  • Richard Wright  Manager, Exploration, Oil and Gas, Nalcor Energy
  • Richard Steiner  Professor, University of Alaska, Conservation and Sustainability Consultant, Oasis Earth Project, As an Individual
  • Erin Weir  Economist, United Steelworkers

7:40 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Coles, can you answer the question I've put to you? You only see a little. We've been here for a long time; we've seen a lot more documentation than you have. I give you that, but what about the spectrum for public safety?

7:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair James Rajotte

We're out of time, so just briefly, Mr. Coles.

7:40 p.m.

President, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

David Coles

Yes, if the rules are, as the friend beside me said, in the public's best interest.

7:40 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Saint Boniface, MB

Very good. Thanks.

7:40 p.m.

Chief Regulatory Officer, Wind Mobile

Simon Lockie

I agree with Mr. Bibic and also Mr. Kirby and Mr. Wong. I'm not sure whether I agree with Mr. Coles or not.

As a practical reality, that spectrum doesn't have commercial value. The U.S. decision made that clear. As a practical policy observation, I think it's the wrong policy for the U.S. to have adopted. I don't think it's efficient.

7:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair James Rajotte

Thank you.

We'll go to Mr. Jean for the final round, please.

May 30th, 2012 / 7:40 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair. If you could let me know when I have two, two and a half minutes left, I'd appreciate it.

I have to say that I've really enjoyed Mr. Kirby's and Mr. Lockie's presentations and responses.

Mr. Bibic, are you a lawyer?

7:40 p.m.

Executive Vice-President, Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, BCE Inc. and Bell Canada

7:40 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

If I ever have a friend with a smoking gun in their hand, I would recommend you as a defence attorney. You are very good. I enjoyed your testimony very much.

7:40 p.m.

Executive Vice-President, Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, BCE Inc. and Bell Canada

Mirko Bibic

I didn't know where that was going.

7:40 p.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

7:40 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

I was also an attorney. That's why I respected what you said, notwithstanding the disagreement with it.

Data usage has tripled since 2008, and we've got some new technology coming out, such as iPads with 4G LTE. Canadians are using a lot more information. They're accessing a lot more. We've got a lot of changes coming forward.

Mr. Lockie, I'd like you to comment on that in particular, because for us as a government, it's all about responding to consumers—more choices, lower prices. How do you see the future unfolding if we don't get in more competition from around the world to create a more competitive environment for this high usage of data?

7:40 p.m.

Chief Regulatory Officer, Wind Mobile

Simon Lockie

There are a couple of different elements to it. Competition forces innovation, and I think innovation is a big part of the answer to increasing data usage. When you have competition, you have limited resources, and then you get better at using them. Bell, Rogers, and Telus point to the behemoths, AT&T and Verizon down in the States. Those entities are themselves accused of having too much spectrum and hoarding it, yet they service 20 times the number of subscribers using their spectrum per megahertz that Bell, Rogers, and Telus do. Why? Because that's all they've got, and they've got that many subscribers. That's a lot of traffic. That's a lot of capacity getting eaten up. I think what you need is competition to force innovation, to force efficiency.

7:40 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

That's true. With the future use and the demand that's going to happen—

7:40 p.m.

Chief Regulatory Officer, Wind Mobile

Simon Lockie

Categorically. It's going to continue in that direction.