Mr. Speaker, let me tell the minister what happened in the United States when it had the same deregulation. Consumers not only paid higher prices for their telephone services, but they also have less service and less innovation.
This scheme that the minister now has announced, without any notice to anybody, cuts the CRTC from setting phone rates, eliminates competition and consumer choice, and forces rural Canadians to finance temporary discounts in urban centres. If the Minister of Industry wants to play Santa Claus to the big telcos, he should do it on his own dime and not out of the pockets of consumers in rural Canada or elsewhere.
Will the minister admit that he is giving consumers coal in their stockings and a huge Christmas bonus to the telcos with a big--