The House of Commons Industry Committee (CIC) is meeting by request of opposition MPs to consider hearings into cellphone rates, according to Blacklock’s Reporter. “Canadians have been very, very clear with me,” said Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne at a press scrum. “We pay way too much for telecom services and we want more options, full stop.”Champagne promised lower cellphone rates 10 months ago when he approved one of the largest telecommunications takeovers in Canadian history. The Canadian government gave the green light on the merger of Shaw and Rogers in March, even as concerns linger over competitiveness in Canada’s telecommunications market. READ MORE: DOWN TO THE WIRE: Feds approve $20 billion Rogers-Shaw merger under threat of penaltyChampagne announced Canadian government approval for the deal with 21 conditions, including the establishment of another headquarters in Calgary and the creation of 3,000 new jobs.In exchange, Videotron will be allowed to assume Shaw’s Freedom Mobile, creating a fourth national carrier. Shaw and Rogers will be required to reduce prices by up to 20% in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario to match Quebec, which has the lowest rates in Canada. The CIC said in a notice it would “discuss a request to undertake a study of cellphone package price increases.” MPs on the CIC had ridiculed cabinet’s pledge of lower prices. The CIC, the House of Commons Heritage Committee and the Competition Bureau of Canada opposed the deal because it was likely to reduce competition. Champagne said he expected Rogers and other telecommunications companies to cut their prices. The intention is to have lower prices in Canada. A reporter asked Champagne what he was going to do. In response, he said what the government will do is ask for more legislative and regulatory powers to force prices down. “At that point, everything is on the table,” he said.Another reporter asked him why the government was allowing anti-competitive behaviour in the telecommunications industry. While anti-competitive behaviour is happening, he said Canadians have told him a simple message. “What they want is lower prices,” he said. Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre said the government announced it thinks there is too much competition in the telecommunications business and allowed for a massive merger. “When will the Liberals start standing up for consumers instead of standing up for price-raising, high-cost corporate oligarchs?” said Poilievre. NDP MP Peter Julian (New Westminster-Burnaby, BC) accused Shaw and Rogers of ripping off Canadians. “Rogers and Shaw continue defrauding Canadians on their internet and cellphone bills,” said Julian.