According to Mike Sullivan, there were four muggings of young people for their cell phones in the Weston area this week (the muggings do not, for some reason, appear on the police blotter, a problem that is driving me a bit crazy, to be honest).
Sullivan and Frances Nunziata scored a huge victory last year when they got the telcos to ban stolen phones from the networks, but one step remains to be taken: the deepest serial number in a phone can still be changed, making the phone useful again. Sullivan said in the House:
Mr. Speaker, there were four muggings of students for their phones, from one school, in my riding last week. Cell phone thefts have doubled in Toronto over the past three years, and this is a growing problem in high schools across the country. Carriers are trying to track and deactivate stolen cell phones, but they need help from Parliament. They want to make it illegal to tamper with serial numbers. My private member’s Bill C-482 does exactly that.
Why are Conservatives not serious about removing the incentive to steal cell phones in the first place? Why will they not support our smart-on-crime bill?
The Minister’s answer was to change the topic and say that cell phones are getting cheaper.
Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association recently announced that it would work with industry to eliminate this problem, and our government supports it.
We hope the NDP will support our policies as well. As far as wireless services are concerned, we will have a fourth player across the country in order to offer affordable prices, better competition and better choices for consumers. Instead of talking out of both sides of their mouths, the NDP members are encouraged to support these measures.