Government to clarify telecom foreign investment “in the coming weeks”

Here’s a bummer. Last week during the Throne Speech Governor General Michaëlle Jean stated “Our government will open Canada’s doors further to venture capital and to foreign investment in key sectors, including the satellite and telecommunications industries, giving Canadian firms access to the funds and expertise they need.”

Dreams were starting to come true of big wireless players coming into Canada and helping smaller players grow and expand faster. There was even some analysts talking about Bell and TELUS merging again. However, nothing yet has come forward specifically about telecommunications, it’s all been a focus on satellite.

The Globe has written a good piece called “The reality of Ottawa’s foreign ownership changes” and they quoted a regulatory source that said “What the government appears to have done is over-promised and under-delivered and that, I think, is the disappointment. They created such an expectation. And then when people got the budget, they said, ‘This is all there is?’ I would have expected more precision in something as significant as this.”

However there is a small glimmer of hope. Industry Minister Tony Clement’s press secretary, Lynn Meahan said “Our government will also be investigating the existing restrictions for the telecommunications industry. This is a complex issue involving changes to business models, rapidly evolving technology, and existing legislation, such as the 1993 Telecommunications Act.”

Meahan also stated the government will be offering clarity on timing “in the coming weeks”. But we all know that the “coming weeks” is similar to “coming soon” and still is completely vague.

More here at the Globe