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Telus and affiliates tell customers they've already met Liberal rate-cut pledge

One of Canada's major mobile service providers and its affiliated brands appear to have set the stage for a battle with the federal government over the timing of proposed wireless rate cuts. A woman is silhouetted as the Telus Corp. logo is displayed on a screen during a company event in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

OTTAWA — One of Canada’s major mobile service providers appears to have set the stage for a battle with Ottawa over the timing of proposed wireless rate cuts.

Telus and affiliated brands Koodo and Public Mobile recently placed what they are calling a “True North Affordability” stamp on their websites, a move that comes ahead of regulatory hearings this week that could result in mandated new cuts to wireless prices across the country.

Consumer advocate Laura Tribe sees it as an attempt to reset the starting point for a Liberal campaign pledge to reduce wireless rates.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election platform included a promise to slash cellphone rates by 25 per cent, a commitment the Liberals said would save a family of four an average of almost $1,000 per year.

The Liberals based their pledge on a 2018 pricing comparison model which Telus, Koodo and Public Mobile now say they have already exceeded.

Last month, however, federal Industry Minister Navdeep Bains made clear that he viewed the starting point for the cuts as mid-December 2019, when he received a mandate from Trudeau to ensure prices are lowered.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press