The cost of new and old cell phones in Canada is exorbitantly high because of federal laws restricting foreign investment and forcing consumers to pay excessively, according to the chairman of the upstart telecommunications company Globalive. Tony Lacavera stopped in to the Yaletown outlet of Globalive’s Wind Mobile store in Vancouver on Friday to celebrate the company’s one-year anniversary, only a day after blasting federal laws in Toronto.
Globalive has become a political football thanks to the federal laws restricting foreign investment in Canada. The company has financial backers based in Egypt but was allowed to move into the Canadian telecom market two years ago in 2009 following an order by the federal Conservative government – only for that order to be rejected by The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, whose action has been backed in Federal Court. Lacavera claims that it is vital for Canadian consumers that the Conservative government’s position wins through in the end.
“There are tremendous constraints currently in Canada,” Lacavera says. “It’s really the only market in the developed world, in fact one of the few remaining markets in the world, period, that still have a requirement for (domestic) – in our case Canadian – control of telecommunications companies. Canadians are experiencing some of the highest prices in the world. It’s because we have greatly restricted our telecommunications market. We’ve made it a market where three big players completely dominate the market. We need to fight their anticompetitive prices.”