It’s his job, of course, but it is quite fun to watch. Former Premier turned telecom lobbyist on why we pay more than twice as much for cell phone charges:
He says the federal fees firms pay to access the airwaves are unreasonable, and providing coverage to a vast country less densely populated than its southern neighbour is expensive. “Spectrum is one component but it is not the only component,” Lord answered, pointing to the challenge of serving a relatively small population spread over a country larger than Europe.
You have to give it to the telecos for their ability to come up with these kinds of arguments. Canada’s population is actually quite densely populated. Almost 55% of the Canadian population lives in just 10 urban areas. 85% of the population live in urban centres. The government is spending billions to get telecom infrastructure to the rural and remote populations.
But government folks listen up. You can take your cue from Bernie Lord. “The challenge of serving a relatively small popoulation spread over a country larger than Europe” is why we pay more taxes. It’s also why we pay more for roads. It’s why we pay more for electricity (getting it to those vast rural areas).
Truth is we pay less taxes than Europe, we pay about the same for roads and we pay less for other utilities such as electricity. Lord’s argument doesn’t hold water.
But it is intuitive enough for most people to nod their heads.