Mr. Speaker, the CRTC has ruled that there can be no averaging of the monthly telephone service charges between rural and urban. In other words, those areas in Canada which are considered rural are now facing unbelievably high monthly service rates.
Saskatchewan is the most rural province in Canada. Almost one-third of its population lives on farms, in small towns, in villages and in aboriginal communities. These telephone subscribers are facing a $130 a month service fee.
If rural areas across Canada are going to have affordable telephone, fax and Internet rates, as is the government's policy, then the government must act to protect these areas of Canada. I urge the government to immediately move so all areas in Canada can have telephone and related electronic services without an unbearably high service rate.