Municipality rejects Eastlink's termination of Bruce Telecom sale
By Liz Dadson

Kincardine council

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Kincardine council has rejected the announcement by Eastlink (Bragg Communications) that the Bruce Telecom sale is terminated.

Council met in closed session last night (Aug. 19) to discuss advice from the municipal solicitor with respect to the deal.

Upon returning to open session, council approved the following motion:

"That a letter be forwarded to Bragg Communications Incorporated, advising that the Municipality of Kincardine does not accept (its) purported termination of the Asset Purchase Agreement for Bruce Telecom."

Friday, Aug. 15, the Competition Bureau announced that it has refused to allow the sale of Bruce Telecom to Eastlink, stating the deal would have likely resulted in higher prices and fewer choices for the residents of the Town of Port Elgin and the Village of Paisley.

Currently, the two companies are the only providers of telecommunications services in those two areas.

The bureau adds that in the absence of a rivalry between the two companies, customers would also have been deprived of the benefits of innovation in their telecommunications services.

"As a result, Bragg Communications Inc. or Eastlink and Bruce Telecom have terminated their agreement," states the bureau."

According to Jill Laing, public and media relations manager for Eastlink, the company will." not proceed with the purchase of Bruce Telecom, "as it did not receive the required approvals by the Competition Bureau. As a result, Eastlink has withdrawn from the transaction. We are very disappointed as our plans were to begin investing immediately to provide improved products and services to the customers of Bruce Telecom. We remain fully committed to our Eastlink customers and operations in this region."

Mayor Larry Kraemer said that the deal, which was opposed so heavily, locally, protected all the Bruce Telecom jobs and the capital, and put the telephone company in the hands of very competent operators.

"We were working very well, we thought, with Eastlink until that shocking announcement last week," he told reporters. "Up until then, we had heard that, 'We are committed to the deal'."

Kraemer said the contract with Eastlink states that the company is obligated to begin negotiations again if the deal is cancelled for any reason.

Council is sending a letter to Eastlink, informing the company of its obligations.

Meanwhile, said Kraemer, council realizes that while talks are ongoing, the municipality must also consider options for the telephone company until things are settled. To that end, the Bruce Telecom board of directors has been asked to consider options for the company's future.

"We have to put together a 2015 budget," said Kraemer. "We have to deal with what we have to deal with, to protect the staff, management and customers of Bruce

Council has also agreed to cancel the Aug. 27 public meeting, regarding the sale of Bruce Telecom.

-- With files from Lynda Cooper, 92.3 The Dock


For more on this story, read the article below:

Kincardine council Municipality returns to closed session Aug. 19 regarding sale of Bruce Telecom  Read More

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Thursday, August 21, 2014