Province wants to call Ottawa on cellphone bills

Maple Ridge MLA pushing for better terms

Maple Ridge-Mission MLA Bob D’Eith wants to point out to the federal government that 15,549 people in B.C. are not happy with their cellphone service.

Premier John Horgan earlier appointed D’Eith to the task of trying to get more affordable and transparent cellphone options.

Cellphones were a major issue in October’s federal election.

“I’m going to hold the new Government of Canada and Opposition to these promises on behalf of British Columbians,” D’Eith said Tuesday.

The federal government is responsible for regulating telecommunications.

D’Eith said, via teleconference, that 92 per cent of households have cellphones and the devices are no longer luxuries, but necessities.

He announced a new report titled, Cellphone Billing Transparency: What We Heard, which included 15,549 responses from earlier this year.

Its key findings were that cellphone contracts and bills are difficult to understand, that there should be more affordability and choice, and that costs add up for families with multiple cellphones.

More than 90 per cent of B.C. households now have at least one cellphone, while fewer than 60 per cent have a land line.

Simon Gibson, MLA, Abbotsford-Mission, questioned D’Eith’s appointment.

“It’s unfortunate that our provincial government would raise the public’s expectations by assigning an MLA to such a vague role, given that telecommunications is a federal responsibility, ” Gibson said.

“Cellphone users need to have some confidence in their plans and ensuring their affordability, but a provincial government MLA can hardly be expected to have any impact on this whatsoever. This sounds like an incredible waste of taxpayer dollars to send Bob D’Eith to Ottawa to try to take on an issue he has no jurisdiction over.”

D’Eith said that, as a lawyer, he was surprised to learn that people don’t get a copy of their cellphone contract until after they sign it.

“That’s the sort of thing we could look at for legislative response,” D’Eith said.

He also said the government can now lobby for B.C. residents who are unhappy with cellphones and improve consumer rights education.

“If nothing is done, we will act, and that’s something important to note,” D’Eith said.

“Now is the time to engage with federal partners, build consensus and find solutions that will improve the lives of British Columbians and all Canadians,” Horgan said in a release.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Free film for Ridge residents to mark Plastic Free July

The Story of Plastic can be viewed for free on any device

Seniors tennis society of Maple Ridge looking for new members

Club accepts anyone over the age of 55 into their ranks

Songs Strings and Steps presents outdoor concert series in Abbotsford

No more than 50 people permitted for each performance

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

19 times on 19th birthday: Langley teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Most Read