Canada’s Telecom Industry and Foreign Ownership

According to the Globe and Mail, the new Canadian federal Industry Minister says he is open to scrapping restrictions on foreign ownership in telecommunications.

The telecom review panel, appointed by the Liberal government almost a year ago, will present its report today to Mr. Bernier. It is expected to call for a more market-oriented approach to the sector, a view that is sure to get a sympathetic hearing from the business-oriented minister.

“I won’t close the door because it’s foreign ownership,” Mr. Bernier said.

For telephone companies, which fall under Industry Canada’s jurisdiction, and the cable sector, which is in Heritage Canada’s domain, foreigners can own a maximum of 20 per cent of an operating company and one-third of a holding company. That means an effective cap of 46.7 per cent.