A Model Act to Implement Telecom Sector Reform
June 12, 2007
Format: Soft Cover
Price: $ 20 CDNToronto, June 12, 2007 − Hank Intven, Partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, today announced the publication of a Model Telecommunications Act containing detailed legislative provisions that could be used to implement key recommendations of the March 2006 report of the Telecommunications Policy Review Panel (the "TPR Report"). The Model Act was prepared by Mr. Intven, who was a member of the Panel, and Mary Dawson, former Associate Deputy Minister of Justice.
The TPR Report called for major reforms of the policy and regulatory framework for the Canadian telecommunications industry. Since release of the report, the Government of Canada has moved quickly to implement many of its recommendations, particularly those aimed at deregulation of the telecommunications industry and which the Panel has described as urgent. However, the report ultimately called for a comprehensive set of reforms, including new legislation, creation of new competition and consumer watchdog agencies, and clear guidelines for when regulators should, and should not, intervene in telecom markets.
"Our purpose in preparing and publishing a Model Act was simply to give the Government, Parliament and other industry stakeholders, including consumer groups, some clear ideas on how one might start the difficult job of drafting new, comprehensive telecom legisation to implement the TPR Report." said Mr. Intven. "Having participated in the six-year process to prepare, debate and pass the 1993 Telecommunications Act, we recognize that preparing telecommunications legislation is no easy task. We thought it would be useful to put some ideas into play on how to write the specific legislative provisions that the Government and Parliament might consider moving ahead with."
Mr. Intven and Ms. Dawson have substantial experience with telecommunications and legislative drafting. In addition to being a member of the three-person panel that wrote the TPR Report, Mr. Intven was also the main outside advisor to the Government of Canada on the drafting of the 1993 Telecommunications Act and is a former Executive Director of Telecommunications with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Ms. Dawson has spent over 30 years working on and supervising legislative drafting with the Department of Justice. She has personally drafted a substantial part of Canada’s current legislative framework, including the 1982 Constitution Act and more than 30 other federal statutes. For many years, she has been one of the Government of Canada’s senior advisors on constitutional and legislative matters.
The Model Act is intended to provide the Government, Parliamentarians, officials and other stakeholders in telecommunications policy with practical suggestions on how the various recommendations of the TPR Report could be transformed into legislation. "We hope the provisions will further stimulate the debate and sustain the momentum behing implementing the recommendations of the TPR Report." said Mr. Intven. "The main goal is to ensure that the provisions of the TPR Report on which the Government has not already acted will be seriously considered, and not just left on the shelf as part of a report that is complex to implement and not ‘politically sexy.’"
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