The ownership status of Wind Mobile’s parent, Globalive Wirelesss Management, is secure now that the Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge to the cabinet decision that put it in business. Here’s how it happened:
In July, 2008 Globalive is among the new entrants winning spectrum after a lengthy auction. The company is headed by Toronto telecom veteran Anthony Lacavera and supported by Egyptian-based Orascom Telecom.
Concerned about the extent of Globalive’s foreign investment, in the fall of 2009 the
CRTC holds a special hearing, then refuses to give Globalive a carrier licence because it isn’t Canadian controlled
Less than two months later the Harper cabinet overturns the regulator, saying it takes a different interpretation of the facts before the CRTC.
With the cabinet’s blessing, Wind Mobile doesn’t waste any time opening its doors in Toronto and Calgary
Startup Public Mobile quickly announces it will challenge cabinet decision, claiming politicians have “thrown out the foreign ownership laws of Canada.”
In 2010, Federal Court Justice Roger Hughes rules the cabinet order was based on errors in law
But in June 2011, the Federal Court of Appeal upholds cabinet decision; Public Mobile decides to go to Supreme Court
Meanwhile, as a result of the controversy the Harper government decides the foreign telecom ownership rules need to be revised. In March 2012 it announces it will change the Telecommunications Act to allow carriers with less than 10 per cent market share — like Globalive — to be entirely foreign-owned. As of April 26, legislation hasn’t been introduced.