CALGARY, Nov. 18 /CNW/ - Earlier today TELUS responded to Industry Minister Tony Clement's invitation for comment on the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC) decision that Globalive's current ownership structure is not compliant with Canada's foreign ownership restrictions.
"Globalive's ownership structure is simply not compliant with our country's laws and the CRTC made the only decision it could under Canadian law," said Michael Hennessy, TELUS senior vice-president of Regulatory and Government Affairs. "If the Government overturns the CRTC decision, it would render meaningless Canada's laws on foreign ownership not just for wireless firms, but also for broadcasters, media, cable companies and wireline telecommunications firms that are governed by the same regulations."
TELUS submitted that changes to the foreign ownership rules must be enacted by Parliament not snuck in through the back door.
"If our government decides to begin altering foreign ownership restrictions in the communications industry it should do so in a thoughtful and considered manner that is fair to all companies operating under the current rules," Mr. Hennessy said. "It would be wrong to allow the one foreign controlled firm that did not play by the rules to drive the terms and timelines for such massive changes to our laws."
TELUS noted that other bidders, including new entrants, that paid the Government more than $4 billion for spectrum, were led to believe only eligible Canadian companies were entitled to bid.
"To ignore what is clear non-compliance after the fact is to send a signal to anyone interested in investing in our economy that the rules may or may not apply and can be changed without notice."
Mr. Hennessy urged Minister Clement to proceed with caution when considering the implications of the Globalive decision.
"The CRTC put Globalive on notice a year ago that it must pass a foreign ownership test and offered to hold a review at that time. That Globalive chose not to seek such approval at that time is not the fault of Government," Mr. Hennessy said. "The Minister does not need to fix problems that are of Globalive's own making. Globalive can add Canadian investors just like every other new entrant has already done."
TELUS has never been opposed to foreign ownership restrictions being lifted, but has asked simply that all wireless carriers in Canada operate under the same rules without an artificial and unfair advantage being handed to any one company by the government or the CRTC.
TELUS is investing more than $2 billion in capital expenditures in 2009, up 10 per cent from 2008. A significant portion of that investment resulted in the November 5 launch of TELUS' 3G+ wireless network. That world-leading network offers wireless data download speeds of up to 21 megabits per second to 93 per cent of the population across 1.1 million square kilometres of Canada.
For a full copy of TELUS' submission, please visit http://files.newswire.ca/836/TELUS_Globalive.pdf.
TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $9.6 billion of annual revenue and 11.9 million customer connections including 6.4 million wireless subscribers, 4.1 million wireline network access lines and 1.2 million Internet subscribers and more than 100,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video. In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed $137 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 2.6 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Nine TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead our local philanthropic initiatives. For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.
SOURCE TELUS Corporation
For further information: For further information: Shawn Hall, TELUS Media Relations, (604) 619-7913, firstname.lastname@example.org