Rogers Communications argued Monday before the CRTC that its proposed $ 26 billion takeover of Shaw Communications was necessary not only to create greater competition in Western Canada, but also to compete with content providers on the global market.
“Canada is no longer an isolated island in an ocean,” said Edward Rogers, chairman of the company board, during the first day of hearings for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in Gatineau.
“While our main competitors are still Bell and Telus in the cable industry, in this global market our competitors are also increasingly global platforms and brands,” added Rogers, who won a battle. High-profile court review for the company’s board of directors earlier this month.
During the hearings, the company stressed that its investments in internet television were essential to respond to threats to Canadian broadcasting from Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV, since Rogers’ offer allows customers to watch over the internet. both national and international content, while remaining within a regulated framework.
He said he also plans to invest billions of dollars to expand broadband access and invest in 5G networks to stay competitive.
Brad Shaw, CEO of Shaw, for his part said the proposed deal comes at a critical time for the industry and the Calgary-based company cannot make the necessary investments in network and broadcast without partnership.
“Simply put, Shaw can’t do it alone. We need the scale, strength and resources of the combined assets of Shaw and Rogers, ”he said.
Video: An oil company wins its case against the Legault government (Le Devoir)
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A shock treatment to save Christmas in the Netherlands
A shock treatment to save Christmas in the Netherlands The pandemic does not come with a gift. The number of cases of infection is climbing dangerously in the Netherlands, hospitals are overflowing again and healthcare workers can no longer take it. However, late Saturday afternoon, a few minutes before the entry into force of stricter sanitary measures, Sinterklaas, a kind of national Santa Claus, paraded in several major cities of the country to launch the end-of-year festivities. . This unprotected party focused the nonchalant attitude of the Dutch provinces in the face of the pandemic, as worrying signs of a strong Covidian surge abound for weeks here more than everywhere in Europe. Until very recently, frequentation of bars, restaurants, cinemas and sports halls was done with a lazy surveillance of health passports. The Dutch had dropped masks everywhere, and social distancing (set here at 1.5m) no longer existed. The Dutch government announced new restrictions on Friday, November 12, with seven in ten citizens calling for them, according to a poll earlier this month. The measures unveiled include closing non-essential stores at 6 p.m. Sports matches will be played behind closed doors. The country of 17 million people has recorded more than two million cases and more than 18,500 deaths since March 2020. Around 82% of Dutch people over the age of 12 have received two doses of the anticovid vaccine.
Denis Coderre leaves political life
Denis Coderre leaves political life At the end of a meeting with his caucus on Friday morning, Denis Coderre, leader of Ensemble Montreal, indicated that he would not occupy the functions of leader of the opposition. “Political life is over. I will contribute to the development of Montreal in a different way, ”Mr. Coderre told journalists at the end of the meeting, which lasted more than four hours at Casa D’Italia. “I’ll do something else. […] I am leaving with the feeling of accomplishment. ” Denis Coderre could have returned to town hall as leader of the opposition since his running mate Chantal Rossi was elected last Sunday, but he preferred to bow out. At the same time, the conductor of Ensemble Montréal draws a line on his political career which spanned four decades. He lamented the low turnout in Sunday’s poll and the fact that the real issues were not sufficiently addressed during the campaign, he said. Since his loss last Sunday against Valérie Plante, Mr. Coderre had remained silent on his intentions. He indicated that if he had waited until Friday to meet with his caucus, it was because he wanted to ensure that all the newly elected officials could be present. Last Sunday, Denis Coderre had to bow to Valérie Plante who obtained 52.1% of the vote against 38% for the leader of Ensemble Montreal who was trying to return to city hall.
Federal compulsory vaccination challenged in court
Federal compulsory vaccination challenged in court A few days before its entry into force, the vaccination obligation imposed by the federal government on its employees will be challenged in court. Le Devoir has learned that a Quebec government subcontractor, who refuses to be inoculated for fear of possible side effects of the vaccine, will apply to the Federal Court this Friday in the hope of having the government’s directive invalidated. Trudeau for its suppliers, or at least to be exempted. The 35-year-old employee works in a Transport Canada test center located in Blainville, a suburb of Montreal, and managed by a private company, PMG Technologies. In an affidavit filed in Federal Court this week, the plaintiff cites, to explain his refusal to be vaccinated, “the risks of serious complications associated with the current supply of vaccines” licensed in Canada. He argues in court that he enjoys an “inalienable and incontestable right to [son] physical integrity, which includes the right not to be subjected to medical treatment, whether experimental or not, against [son] voluntarily”. This legal challenge would be the first brought against the federal government, which will demand from Monday that all its contractors and officials, wherever they are in the country, be vaccinated. The technician at the Blainville road test center therefore risks being fired next week by his employer, who must comply with the Ottawa directive. It is the imposition of this directive on government suppliers, rather than just public servants, that he is challenging in Federal Court. The Federal Court will hear the request for an interlocutory injunction on Friday, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer, Guy Lavergne. Case on merit hearings will follow thereafter.
Dean Prevost, head of the Rogers Connected Home division, argued that the investments would increase broadcasting competition in Western Canada, especially in rural communities where Telus is often the only option. He did not assure Shaw customers would see rate increases, but said competition was the best way to counter this.
“The best insurance you have is the West’s most incredibly aggressive competitor, which is Telus. Raising prices is not an isolated act, it depends on the market. ”
The CRTC heard from Rogers and Shaw on Monday, while other interested groups, including Telus, BCE and consumer groups, are expected to have their say later this week.
In the filings, Telus and BCE opposed the deal, saying it would give Rogers control of 47 percent of English-language broadcasting subscribers in Canada and too much influence over content distribution and security. content rights.
Speaking on Monday’s return to parliament, New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh said he was also opposed to the deal.
“We are absolutely opposed to this merger. It will hurt people, it will make life more difficult, it will increase costs for the internet, ”he said.
CRTC hearings focus on the implications of the agreement for broadcasting, including cable networks in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Shaw Direct satellite television service and a relay system. by satellite.
The CRTC will not consider the impact on the mobile wireless market, which will be part of reviews by the Competition Bureau and the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
Companies in this story: (TSX: RCI.B; TSX: SJR.B)
Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press