Hon. Francis Fox (Minister of Communications):
Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member raises an obvious question of very great importance. The Hon. Member knows that the CRTC receives applications from various telephone companies across the country on a number of subjects, and that the Government's power to intervene is usually on appeal. The Government doees not at the moment have power of direction over the CRTC. I would very much encourage the Hon. Member to discuss this matter with the critic for the Official Opposition and to seek quick passage of Bill C-20, which would give Parliament and the Government of the day the opportunity to look at this question and to issue directives to the CRTC on the type of architecture we want to have for our telecommunications and broadcasting system in Canada.
Up to now I do not have the co-operation of the Official Opposition in order to bring this Bill forward and pass it quickly before the House rises. I would very much hope that we could do so in order to allow us to make substantial progress in ensuring that the elected representatives of the people are the ones who decide on the architecture of the system.
Subtopic: CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION REGULATION OF LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE SERVICE