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Continentalizing Canadian Telecommunications

Continentalizing Canadian Telecommunications: The Politics of Regulatory Reform

Copyright Date: 2003
Pages: 280
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  • Book Info
    Continentalizing Canadian Telecommunications
    Book Description:

    Continentalizing Canadian Telecommunications details the complex relationships between the various corporate and government interests, shows how the changes they brought about have locked Canada's telecommunications system into the orbit of the US system, and discusses the implications this has for Canadians.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7050-4
    Subjects: Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-15)

    Many would argue that the continentalization of Canadian telecommunications began with the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement of 1989. In fact the politics of regulatory reform, and the resistance that developed as part of this, began in 1985 in response to the Macdonald Commission’s interim report, which raised concerns about the growing internationalization of business, increasing competition in domestic and world trade, the effects of technology on trade, and the growing protectionism of Canada’s largest trading partner, the United States. As a solution, the report argued for a move to “an open market economy” through the implementation of neo-liberal economic policies....

  6. 1 Telecommunications and the First National Policy
    (pp. 16-29)

    With the re-election of the Conservative Party on a platform of economic nationalism, the First National Policy was introduced in 1879. The National Policy became the active instrumental means by which the federal government would intervene in the economy to advance monopoly-capital accumulation; it was the state’s way of translating the economic interests of capital into political interests. Consequently, the First National Policy acted as a buffer to protect domestic capital from foreign competition. The state concentrated on creating a national capital system, encouraging national economic development by implementing high tariffs and encouraging western geopolitical expansion and settlement to exploit...

  7. 2 Canada’s Permeable Fordist Telecommunications Regime
    (pp. 30-46)

    By the 1920s the old order of Canadian national economic integration, based on the First National Policy, coexisted with a new, developing order of continental economic integration, which began to intensify in the 1920s and 1930s. It was Harold Innis who observed that industrialization¹ shifted the direction of Canada’s trade from an east/west route to a north/south one at this time, for all regions except the prairie provinces (Innis, 1956: 368). Many other significant changes occurred as a massive amount of United States capital was directly invested in key resource sectors. The proliferation of industrial branch plants was evidenced by...

  8. 3 Telecommunications Liberalization: Phase One
    (pp. 47-58)

    After the economic crisis of the 1970s, transnational corporations operating in Canada intensified their pressure on the state to reorganize macro and micro policies. Changing Canadian policies to implement a neo-liberal model would require advancing market interests to the policy forefront. However, support for such policies would require the production of hegemonic consent among the various economic sectors. Key to producing such consent for this policy shift were actors from within the federal government and Canadian and U.S. transnational corporations and their lobby organizations, as well as experts and academics funded by both the private sector and the state. A...

  9. 4 External and Internal Pressures on Canadian Telecom Policy Reform
    (pp. 59-85)

    The analysis of Fordism as developed by Gramsci (1971) and further elaborated by the French regulation school explains how a Fordist regime of accumulation and regulation works (Aglietta, 1979; Lipietz, 1987). The Fordist regime that was put in place by the American state to counter the economic crisis of 1929 included production processes, welfare-state macroeconomic policies, and compromises with labour and American citizens. Relying in part on technological innovation, the U.S. Fordist regime benefited from production improvements and labour’s acceptance of technological change. Social compromises made by business and the state with labour included labour legislation, collective bargaining, and wage...

  10. 5 Telecommunications Policy Liberalization and Centralization
    (pp. 86-106)

    Supported by the large user organizations and some federal and provincial state agents, CNCP Telecommunications wanted to enter and compete in the public long-distance-service market. In the fall of 1983 CNCP filed an application with the CRTC requesting that it be granted permission to interconnect its system to Bell and BC Telephone so that it could offer message toll service (MTS - basic long-distance service) and widearea telephone service (WATS - business long-distance packages).

    A number of regional hearings and a central public hearing followed one year later, in the fall of 1984. The CRTC rendered its decision,Interexchange Competition...

  11. 6 Consumer and Public-Interest Resistance
    (pp. 107-138)

    With its 1992, decisionCompetition in the Provision of Public Long Distance Voice Telephone Services and Related Resale and Sharing Issues,the CRTC moved towards telecommunications-competition management. It is noteworthy that, after numerous submissions, evidence, and expert witnesses, the final decision is written in such a way that it appears as if there was little political opposition other than that of the established telephone companies (CRTC 92–12). From this point on the commission rarely made concessions to the progressive forces that challenged the now-dominant neo-liberal position. The following assessment shows that the second long-distance competition hearing was also strongly...

  12. 7 Continentalizing Canadian Telecommunications
    (pp. 139-163)

    In 1992. the Department of Communications presented a third telecommunications bill, C-62, to Parliament. Communications subcommittees were set up by the House of Commons and the Senate to examine the bill. These subcommittees served as the final semblance of pluralist input and participation for groups representing different social interests. But many of these groups were successful in influencing only minor wording changes in the final Telecommunications Act.

    Bill C-62, was supported by the Stentor member companies, the alternative long-distance competitors, and the two major telecommunicationsuser organizations, the Canadian Business Telecommunications Association (CBTA) and the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)....

  13. 8 Conclusion
    (pp. 164-172)

    This book provides a comprehensive examination of the major Canadian telecommunications policy changes that have occurred over the last twenty years. It examines the primary capital and state agents who were instrumental in initiating the policy shift to a neo-liberal telecommunications model, and the centralization of telecommunications power with the federal government. I have foregrounded the tensions and conflicts that resulted from the establishment of neo-liberal telecom policy changes. For more than two decades, opposition and resistance did not let up. From the beginning this policy shift was met with strong opposition at many levels, but its strongest resistance came...

  14. Appendices
    (pp. 173-216)
  15. Notes
    (pp. 217-224)
  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 225-246)
  17. Index
    (pp. 247-256)