Attention Prime Minister Harper!

If I were Stephen Harper, I’d sit up and pay attention. Frances Nunziata has written to the PM asking for his help—and I’m pretty sure our fair councillor can be a fearsome opponent. 

Nunziata has been championing a cell phone registry that would deactivate stolen devices entirely and make them much less valuable. Right now in Canada, a stolen phone can be used with a simple switch of the SIM card inside–and SIM cards are cheap as chips. This has led to a rash of muggings in our riding and across the city, as cretins and thugs commit hold ups–often of children–to get their phones. Many other countries have registries that prevent the reactivation of phones reported stolen. 

The Toronto Police Services Board supported Frances Nunziata’s request, and reviewed her letter to the PM today. It said, in part: 

I am writing to advise you of a motion that I recently introduced at a Toronto Police Services Voard meeting, to curb cell phone robberies. The motion calls on [you] to introduce legislation that would compel cellular phone service providers to provide technology that would permit the disabling of stolen cell phones…. 

The motion received unanimous consent from not only the Toronto Police Services Board, but also unanimous consent at the Canadian Association of Police Boards’ AGM earlier this month. I hope that you will support this initiative as well by introducing the appropriate legislation. 


Mike Sullivan, our MP, has been putting pressure on the feds and the CRTC with a motion in the House that would force the providers to build the database. The CRTC has asked the telcos to get hopping.

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

11 thoughts on “Attention Prime Minister Harper!”

  1. “Championing”? You mean piggy backing on Mike Sullivan’s idea. Frances Nunziata is an opportunist and nothing more.

  2. It’s an interesting question which politician came up with the plan. Sullivan’s assistant, Paul Ferreira, told me that they were going to propose the bill in the House, and he seemed genuinely surprised that Nunziata had mentioned it in City Hall. I think they can both fairly take credit for it.

    How could they both have come up with the idea? Perhaps your humble correspondent can take some credit. I put the idea on the website before I heard about it from either Nunziata or Sullivan. But I got it from the Wall Street Journal!

  3. Based on a quick google search, its pretty clear Mike Sullivan was the first to bring this matter to light. It has received national exposure which Sullivan as received acknowledgement for. Sorry Nunziata stealing someone else idea doesn’t make it your idea.
    Must also say a little disappointed with Adam as well. Generally your much more direct, but not in this case…..–ndp-calls-for-national-stolen-cell-phone-registry

  4. Sorry, Bob, you are mistaken. A cell phone registry was covered by the major media as early as April 11. The Toronto Police Chief brought it up, and Frances Nunziata spoke about it. Frances is on the Toronto Police Services Board.

    April 11 article

    The earliest that Sullivan mentioned a registry was June 20, and you would have read about it here first! As I said, Paul Ferreira mentioned the registry to me, standing in Elm Park, on Neighbour’s Night Out. I told him that Nunziata had been talking about a similar idea. He seemed geniunely surprised. I honestly think they both had the idea independently.

  5. Based on the article link Adam posted, it appears it was Bill Blair suggestion, and since national cell phone registry is a federal matter, I guess Mike Sullivan is the one to push and get this done.

    1. That is exactly true. I don’t think there’s anything that Nunziata (or Albanese) can do beyond asking nicely (or not nicely!), and Sullivan has had success in getting the CRTC to act. The CRTC has already asked the telcos to explain themselves.

  6. And just one more thing: I don’t think it really matters who had the idea first, or whether one politician is borrowing from another. The important thing is that good ideas get taken up, pushed forward, and implemented. Does it matter who carries the ball, as long as it gets across the line? Not to me.

    I think this piggy-backing accusation is a tough one. Let’s say A had the idea first. If B runs with the idea, we accuse her of piggy-backing. If B doesn’t run with it, we say she doesn’t pull her weight. It’s a no-win situation for the second person, isn’t it? She’s damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t.

    I’ll be straight with you: I’m a bike-riding lefty. I doubt that Frances Nunziata and I agree about a lot. But I think she did the right thing this time.

  7. People were mugged before cellphones existed. People will continue to be mugged even if cellphones have no black-market/street resale value. The cellphones are not the problem.

    The problem is that people are threatening others and taking things from them.

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