Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm going to try to correct the record as we go along here. Let me start by saying I believe that Mr. Bibic and I met the first time in 2008-09 when we were discussing this very same thing. I met with Telus and Rogers as well. When I first met Mr. Simms on the heritage committee, we were talking about the potential of this happening. I say that just to reiterate what Mr. Van Kesteren is pointing out. This is not a new discussion. This has been studied and studied. I've only been here since 2008.
I appreciate Madam LeBlanc taking part in the finance committee. She wasn't here in 2008, nor was she here in 2003. This is not a new issue. So let's get that straight right off the bat.
Mr. Coles, it doesn't wash when you say we ought to remove this. This has been studied forever.
In fact, the budget was released in March. We're now two months into studying the BIA. It's unheard of to have a private business study something for years and then to have the decision and then to study the decision for months before actually proceeding. So I'm sorry, but that just doesn't wash with us or with Canadians. Let's move on from there and talk about how we've actually effected some benefits for Canadians.
Again, Mr. Coles, you said there's no evidence to suggest that Canadians pay less as a result of the decisions made by the government, and that's who we represent: Canadians. We represent Canadians, and I love to see this competition, because I think it's great for Canadians. The proof is in the pudding. The proof is that there's 10% less being spent by Canadian consumers thanks to what was done by this government in 2008. And that has been studied. There is proof. We have the documents. So competition has proven to be very good for Canadians.
In my five minutes I did want to correct some of those things that were said.
I also have to correct Monsieur Caron, because in fact the rural and remote access was not the only thing that Minister Paradis mentioned. There were three objectives that the government had in moving forward with this. He's mentioned only one, and that was the availability of advanced services for all Canadians, including those in rural areas, in a timely manner. That was one of the objectives. Let me tell you that 98% of Canadians now have access to high-speed wireless services since we made these decisions to open up competition. So 98% is a great number. Again, this is all documented; all proof is available.
The other two objectives that have to be put on the record are that we also expect to have sustained competition in wireless telecommunications services and a robust investment and innovation in this sector. Again, I have to correct these things, because I don't want Canadians watching to be misled by half-explained measures, etc. I want them to get a really good picture.
Now there is one issue that has not been discussed. I know there will be some more questions coming from you later, but I am very interested in your positions on something else that's in this measure. That is the spectrum for public safety. I would like each of you to tell me very quickly whether you think that's the right measure. Do you think we're doing the right thing for Canadians by providing more spectrum to public safety?