Telecommunications Regulation and the Constitution


276 pages
ISBN 0-920380-69-7




Edited by Robert J. Buchan and others
Reviewed by P.F. McKenna

P.F. McKenna was librarian at the Police Academy, Brampton, Ontario.


This collection of essays is the result of a proposal to the Institute for Research on Public Policy presented by Dr. W. T. Stanbury. As a result of this proposal he became the Director of the Regulation and Government Intervention Program sponsored by the Institute. What the present volume contains is the culmination of the efforts of the Director and five contributors. Robert Buchan, C. Christopher Johnston, and T. Gregory Kane are all legally trained and have considerable experience in the area of communications law. Barry Lessen is an economist with special knowledge of the field of telecommunications, while Richard Schultz is a political scientist who deals extensively with regulatory processes. Together they have produced four substantial papers on the regulation of the telecommunications industry in Canada and how that regulation is likely to influence the distnibu-tion of federal and provincial powers.

The essays contained in this volume were prompted by a sober assessment of the disparity between the federal and provincial proposals for the allocation of authority over telecommunications during the 1980 constitutional debates. As Dr. Stanbury points out in his introductory chapter, with annual revenues to the major Canadian telephone companies exceeding $6 billion, the stakes are extremely high. Each of the authors has attempted to rectify the problems or weaknesses to be found in the federal and provincial proposals. Their recommendations for joint regulatory control of telecommunications were screened and discussed by some twenty communications experts from government, industry, and the academy. Their papers were revised as a result of this extensive discussion. The work also includes six appendices, which contain significant federal and provincial documents relating to communications policy.


“Telecommunications Regulation and the Constitution,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 22, 2024,