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Ontario Hansard - 20-September2012

Mrs. Jane McKenna: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It's my pleasure to lend my voice to the ongoing debate around Bill 82, the Wireless Services Agreements Act.

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We here in the House all want consumers to be able to make informed decisions. We all want to protect Ontario consumers and to have them be able to go about their lives with eyes open but free from costly and unexpected fine-print complications. Bill 82 seems to line up with those goals. I think there's a consensus that Bill 82 is a decent bill and that government attention to this issue is perhaps overdue. I also think that there's widespread agreement that this legislation could be improved greatly at committee through hearing the voices and perspectives of various stakeholders in the public and private spheres. When we get down to clause-by-clause consideration, we will hopefully be able to make the kind of level-headed amendments that will protect consumers without creating unnecessary overlap with other jurisdictions or a ream of red tape for the telecommunications industry, because if Bill 82 adds endless regulation and red tape, it could also end up costing consumers in the end, which is obviously not the intent.

Bill 82 has some sensible measures to help cap cancellation fees, prevent automatic renewals and make mobile contracts simpler, written in easy-to-understand language that's as clear as ice water. But at the moment, some members on this side of the House have identified the potential for an unwanted downside to this legislation, specifically with regard to the overlap with similar regulations in other jurisdictions. We should be able to agree on the benefits of a healthy, vibrant and innovative telecommunications sector. We should want to reduce the red tape and regulatory burden, because it affects consumers as well as businesses. In working together, I think we can all contribute to strengthening the legislation so that it is beneficial to all of us.


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