April 22, 1997 (35th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Jag Bhaduria


Mr. Jag Bhaduria (Markham-Whitchurch-Stouffville, Lib. Dem.)

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased to rise in support of a very important piece of legislation which is of concern to every hard working Canadian including those living in Quebec.
I am speaking against the amendment because for too long Canadian pocketbooks have been gouged by big businesses whether they are major banks with exorbitant credit card rates, gas companies that have monopolized the market or, in the case of the legislation, cable companies that have been allowed to blatantly rip off honest, hard working Canadians.
We must not allow it to continue. It is our duty to ensure that all Canadians have the right to decide whether or not they want a product at a fair price. It is imperative that the government and the House do everything in their power to ensure all Canadians are treated fairly.
Bill C-216 is legislation aimed at eliminating negative option billing by cable companies. Some two years ago cable companies decided simply to add new specialty channels to all subscribers and then tried to charge the customers for this new service without even asking if they wanted it.
We are aware of the consumer revolt that ensued in which I played a part. As a result of the tireless efforts of my colleague from Sarnia-Lambton we have the opportunity today to enact into law what Canadian consumers have overwhelmingly supported. As
parliamentarians we have an opportunity to vote in support of what Canadians want over what lobbies representing special interest groups want.
It is time to put the issue to a vote. It is a victory of the consumer. Let the voice of the consumers be heard through the legislation.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Broadcast Act
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