Mr. Speaker, last year BCE, the mother company of Bell Canada, realized net profits of $1.6 billion after a raise in basic rates was approved by the CRTC.
The increase was supposed to finance enhanced services in rural Canada. In the meantime, in my riding of Timiskaming—Cochrane, 5,000 customers served by Northern Telephone, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Canada, are still on party lines.
Five thousand customers are still living in the fifties with party lines and rotary phones, which means no fax machines, no Internet and consequently no jobs.
Bell Canada, should be ashamed of itself. It benefited from a monopoly but failed to fulfill its responsibilities. Shame on Bell Canada. It made $1.6 billion in profits and instead of increasing services it laid off people.
I say shame on Bell Canada. I will continue to repeat this statement as long as the problem is not solved.