Commentary & Discussion
There has been a substantial amount of commentary happening on the “UBB and Me” page, so I thought commentary & discussion should probably have their own page.
This doesn’t mean specific blog post comments aren’t welcome, but this page is intended for any commentary, questions or discussion of Usage Based Billing more generally. As always, please let me know if I get any of the facts wrong. I do research but this stuff doesn’t come easily to me.
The other reason I thought it necessary to start a page like this is that I have just received my very first response from any part of our Canadian government.
I still haven’t heard a word from The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, who I attempted to communicate with on August 19th. I naturally contacted him first about Usage Based Billing because he is the Minister charged with overseeing the CRTC. I filled in the electronic form on his website, but I’ve since had no response. I even offered him the opportunity to contribute to this blog. I thought he might actually want to, since he’s made a point of posting letters to the editor on his website. Silly me.
Today, on September 23rd, 2009, I received this response from the letter I sent to Prime Minister Harper which I also published as Dear Mr Harper. Ordinarily I would have waited a civilized reasonable amount of time for a reply before going public, but the 90 day timeline that came with CRTC’s Usage Based Billing ruling doesn’t exactly allow us much time. So this was written and posted on September 11th, and sent via email to the email@example.com email address provided on the PMO webpage
Since this is just a “we have received your comments” form response, what I have to wonder is how this could possibly have taken twelve days?
Had I sent my letter via snail mail, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect it to take that long for them to get it and respond, even with a form letter. But this is electronic mail. It would have arrived in Ottawa the day it was sent, probably moments after it was sent. An automatic response like this should have gone out the same day.
Could it be possible that Mr. Harper’s office staff and the PMO’s computer support staff don’t actually understand how automated email works?
This does not inspire my confidence in the Harper government’s ability to create effective technology legislation.
I’m currently working on yet another blog post that has been growing to colossal proportions.
I know myself that I don’t always have time to read the really long stuff, so I’ve decided to break it down into three more reasonable sized chunks. Which ought to make it possible to get the first bit online for tomorrow.
In the meantime, feel free to comment here.
and don’t forget:
8237 signatures @ October 8th!
*Part “B” of the alphabet series is online, with “C” in the works.
January 22nd, 2010 – Look Ma! An ANSWER!
I finally received my actual response from the PMO. I guess the staff can get a lot of the backlog caught up when parliament is unexpectedly prorogued. So: this would be the response to my much earlier blog post #15 Dear Mr. Harper
Now, Anyone who’s read that blog post has read my letter to Mr. Harper.
The reason I wrote to Mr. Harper specifically was in direct response to the words that came out of his very own mouth. Words that were published on a Canadian government website. The tone of my letter was essentially, an “If you really believe what you said” how can you justify UBB?
The response that took the PMO five months to craft:
January 22, 2010
Ms. Laurel L. Russwurm
Dear Ms. Russwurm:
On behalf of the Prime Minister, thank you for your e-mail message regarding the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) approval of usage based billing. Please accept our sincere apology for the delay in responding.
We have taken the liberty of forwarding a copy of your correspondence to the office of the Hon. Tony Clement, Minister of Industry. His office is in the best position to respond to the issues you have raised.
Assistant to the Prime Minister
cc The Hon. Tony Clement, P.C., M.P., Minister of Industry
If this was going to be forwarded to Tony Clement’s office, why couldn’t that have been done five months ago?
But really, I wasn’t asking for facts or information… my letter was addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper personally.
I was asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a person as well as a Prime Minister how he could reconcile what he was saying to constituents about the importance of Canadian internet connectivity with what his government was actually doing/allowing to be done.
I guess this begs the question:
Is the PMO deferring to Tony Clement as the man best suited to explain how Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s words and his government’s actions can be reconciled?
Is this a prelude to Stephen Harper stepping down? Handing the reigns to Tony Clement (as Brian Mulroney did to poor Kim Campbell?)
Whatever it is it is just… too weird.
Hmmm… kind of seems as though it takes longer to get a “we are forwarding your letter” response than it does to pass legislation under Prime Minister Harper.