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Continentalizing Canadian Telecommunications
The Politics of Regional Reform

Rideout, Vanda
Publisher:  McGill-Queen's University Press, Canada
Year Published:  2003  
Pages:  256pp   Price:  $27.95   ISBN:  0-7735-2425-8
Library of Congress Number:  TK5102.3.C3R53 2003   Dewey:  384'.0971

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Rideout is an associate professor of sociology at the University of New Brunswick. Her book is based on her doctoral dissertation for the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University in Ottawa, plus some government contract research. Papers based on portions of this material have been presented at meetings of various learned societies. The time slice is 1985-1996, so by now it is mostly all history.

She examines the political resistance to liberal transformation of Canadian telecommunications policy, involving the players of the feds vs. big business. She argues that the public interest has not been well served, despite cohesion with labour, consumers and public-interest groups. She looks at Free Trade, long-distance and local competition, and a subsidy program for low-income earners. Overall, she concludes, we appear to be moving more towards the US (=continentalism) with a North American reach. Both the issues behind privatization policies and telecommunications policies are looked at through a glass of drifting continentalism#There are endnotes, and extensive bibliography, and an index.

Audience or interest level: academics, historians, communications policy analysts.

Some interesting facts: "The development of a neo-liberal, continental telecommunications model has benefited large corporate users, the new competitors, and the established dominant providers".

What I don't like about this resource: all the sources come from the slice, without any updating: there are appendices detailing names and dates.

What I do like about this resource: illustrates the strong role that the government had been playing.

Quality-to-Price Ratio: 83.

[Review by Dean Tudor]

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