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2014 in review
December 31, 2014
By Celia Sankar
So, we've come to the end of another year, and what a year it's been.
Mere ten weeks into 2014, we faced a major hurdle.
You'll recall that the year before, in September 2013, we had asked the telecom watchdog, the CRTC, to reverse their decision to allow Bell, Telus, Rogers, and other phone companies to seize our remaining prepaid wireless balances by claiming the money “expired”.
Well, earlier this year, on March 05, the CRTC refused our request flat out. And that could so easily have been the end of the road for this campaign.
But I know this matter is important to you. And I know you were right when you told me it's unfair that the phone companies take our funds like this, and they must be stopped.
So the DiversityCanada Foundation (the not-for-profit organization which I spearhead), in collaboration with the National Pensioners Federation (a not-for-profit organization which represents over a million seniors across Canada) sprang into action.
We took this complaint higher. Straight to the top, in fact. The Prime Minister and Cabinet now have this matter on their desk.
They are expected to announce their decision by March 04, 2015. So look out for news on that soon.
Now, that's our fight at the federal level. We've also taken Bell to court on the issue of prepaid wireless balance expiry in Ontario.
You'll recall that in the autumn of 2013, the Ontario Superior Court said that our case qualified as a “class action” and gave us permission to sue Bell as one united group. Bell appealed that decision and in December of 2013, the Court gave us an early Christmas gift by throwing out Bell's appeal.
Well, in August, this year, the Court moved our case along by giving us the green light to reach out to everyone in Ontario who may have lost money to Bell and, therefore, was part of this lawsuit.
That cleared the way for our matter to be heard. Towards the end of January, 2015, our lawyers will make their arguments against Bell before a Toronto judge. I'll keep you up to date on that as well.
As we close off this year, I'm filled with a sense of pride and hope.
I feel proud to be a Canadian. We're lucky -- we're blessed -- to live in this great nation where you and I have the ability to take our complaints against powerful corporations to the authorities, and to challenge decisions we disagree with to even higher authorities, and to the Court.
I believe that as we keep up the fight, eventually, "right" will prevail.
Buoyed by your support of this cause, and in partnership with the wonderful folk of the National Pensioners Federation, through the DiversityCanada Foundation I will continue with the fight for proper protection of our rights in 2015.
I wish you all the very best for the new year.