-Laferriere speaks at "Stop The Meter" Rally in Toronto to speak on behalf of Brant Riding's Internet Users. Photo by Todd Burgess
Brantford, ON – Almost two weeks after NDP MP for Timmins-James Bay Charlie Angus joined Brant Federal New Democratic candidate Marc Laferriere for a virtual town hall on usage based billing at the Personal Computer Museum in Brantford, the issue has become the focus of a nationwide debate.
“The purpose of our Local Ideas Listening Tour has been to focus on issues that affect people in Brant riding. Our local concerns are also shared by a wide variety of Canadians,” said Laferriere. “I’m happy to see that the event we had in Brantford has helped to expand a national debate that has finally engaged every political party. The CRTC’s decision needed to be reversed. Capping the internet will only hurt our communities and small business in Brant and across the country.”
Overuling the CRTC’s decision while important is only a first step. More action is needed to protect consumers who are already being gouged on their internet. The large internet service providers and broadcast entities restrict competition and innovation by limiting access to their networks.
-Angus and Laferriere after Virtual Town Hall in Brantford. Photo by Ida Adamowicz
“New Democrats have been fighting the CRTC’s decision on Usage-Based Internet Billing since the beginning. And finally, we’re seeing cracks – and heading for a breakthrough” said Angus. “We have seen the damage that usage-based billing has done to the cell phone industry in Canada and we simply can’t allow Canada to become an internet backwater.”
“The discussion we had in Brant helped to inform people just how much of a negative impact usage-based billing would have. Where was the local MP on this? Not even at the gate. The Brant NDP engaged with the public locally and across the country on usage based billing. That’s leadership. It took pressure from New Democrats and from citizens across Canada to make this happen. Consistent grassroots engagement like what’s been happening in Brant gets results for people.”
Laferriere this past Friday brought forward the concerns of Brant Riding’s Internet users at the “Stop The Meter Rally” in Toronto with Jack Layton and others this past Friday. Laferriere spoke about the cost poor internet decisions like UBB will have not just on major cities like Toronto and Vancouver but on midsized cities, rural communities and reserves which are all a part of Brant Riding.
“This isn’t just a big city issue it. Fair, open and affordable internet is vital to areas like Brantford, Brant County, Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the New Credit,” he said. “I see this through the lens of an affordability crisis. With heating, utilities, gasoline, education and healthy food all becoming more expensive and an above average unemployment rate in ridings like Brant it makes no sense to limit consumer choice and ding them on their internet bills too.”
The discussion on digital issues, held by Laferriere and Angus at the Personal Computer Museum in Brantford on January 22nd, can be found online at: http://ustre.am/:P6R7. Angus will also be hosting a Twitter rally on usage-based billing on Monday, February 7th starting at 2:00pm which Laferriere will participate in.
For more details, visit:http://www.ndp.ca/ubb-twitter-rally