Two of Canada’s leading local and long distance phone service providers—Bell Canada and Telus—are applauding the decision of Canada’s Conservative government to deregulate the nation’s $9.8 billion phone industry, effective on April 18. Despite objections raised by a parliamentary committee and by national telecom regulator CRTC, Industry Minister Maxime Bernier confirmed that regulatory controls applicable to dominant telcos such as Bell Canada and Telus would be lifted in any market in which there are three or more carriers in operation. (Under current CRTC policy, dominant telcos are not eligible for deregulation until they lose at least 25% of their local exchange market share.) Under the new regime, mobile phone companies and cable operators that provide telephone services would be deemed as competitive carriers. Incumbent telcos would be eligible for deregulation upon showing that they compete against a cable company and wireless operator that can reach at least 75% of the market in question. The CRTC would have to act on requests for deregulation within 120 days of receipt, and deregulated carriers would no longer be subject to “winback” rules that prohibit incumbents from contacting former subscribers that switch to other carriers. Declaring that, “reliance on market forces and competition benefits Canadian businesses and consumers,” Bernier predicted: “consumers should benefit from more choices, improved products and services, and lower prices.” Notwithstanding its earlier opposition, the CRTC promised to “implement the revised framework without delay.”