Less than a quarter of Manitobans support MTS-Bell deal

Pallister’s Conservatives are not listening to Manitobans who do not want to see MTS sold to Bell, Infrastructure critic Jim Maloway said today.

“Pallister is out there advocating for a deal that less than a quarter of Manitobans support, even though it will damage our cell phone market and leave families with higher bills for little to no benefit,” said Maloway. “We saw a poll last week and now a second one today that clearly indicates our Premier is acting against the will of Manitobans.”

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Consumers' Association of Canada, and Public Interest Law Centre (Manitoba) released a poll today showing that only 23% of Manitobans support Bell’s proposed takeover of MTS. The majority of Manitobans expect gouging price increases and restrictive data caps with little to no increase in access. Caps on data are one of the biggest concerns, for both Internet and cell phones.

The executive Director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre was unequivocal in the press release: Manitobans “know the deal is bad news for Manitoba.”

Of special interest is that rural families aren’t calling for this deal either--most Manitobans do not believe this takeover will speed up the roll out of high speed internet in rural areas. And only 31% of Manitobans who voted Conservative in the last election support this deal.

“Pallister goes on and on about stakeholder consultations, but he failed to check in with Manitobans on this one,” said Maloway. “The double-speak we’re hearing leaves us wondering what they’re hiding.”

Last week, a poll by Angus Reid also indicated a clear majority of Manitobans opposing the deal, citing concerns about competition and prices.

“The good news is, Manitobans have the power to stop this deal,” Maloway continued. “The Competition Bureau is reviewing this deal and is welcoming concerns from the public. I hope Pallister listens to hard-working Manitobans and joins us in opposing a sale of that is not in the best interest of Manitoba families.”