I think Telus is correct in saying this will impact other industries as well. Imagine if our banks were majority owned by US banks during the last crisis. Tony Clement has his head in the sand.
The government justified its move by stating that ownership rules set out in the Telecommunications Act should be enforced “when possible,” meaning not always. This loose interpretation of Canadian law is said to have angered CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein, who is also a federal judge.
“The decision to vary the CRTC Globalive decision, let me emphasize, was based on the legal facts and not on the government's position that there needs to be more competition in the marketplace,” Industry Minister Tony Clement told reporters in Ottawa.
The government's action opens the door to a broad interpretation of Canadian telecom law, and effectively renders the CRTC irrelevant on matters Ottawa deems crucial to the industry. Mr. Clement said he believes the move does not set a precedent, but many disagree.
An executive at Telus Corp. called the Globalive situation “a stunningly obvious example of foreign ownership,” which could have implications for other industries.
“This does not only affect the wireless industry. It has precedent setting value, and I suspect other federally regulated undertakings such as banking and airlines would be affected,” said Michael Hennessy, senior vice-president of regulatory and government affairs at Telus. “The government would like to contain this, but I don't think they can because the implications are well beyond wireless.”