Cell Phone Freedom Act

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Cell Phone Freedom Act
Parliament of Canada
  • An Act respecting the locking of cellular telephones
Considered byParliament of Canada
Legislative history
Introduced byBruce Hyer
First readingJune 17, 2010
Status: Not passed
Cell Phone Freedom Act
Legislative history
Introduced byBruce Hyer
First readingNovember 3, 2011
Status: Not passed

The Cell Phone Freedom Act (formally An Act respecting the locking of cellular telephones) was a private member's bill proposed twice to the Parliament of Canada which would have required mobile phone providers remove the SIM lock from devices once a customer reaches the end of their contract.

It was first introduced on June 17, 2010 in the House of Commons of Canada as Bill C-560 by Bruce Hyer, then the New Democratic Party Small Business Critic and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North.[1] Bill C-560 was expired due to the government's defeat in March 2011. Hyer reintroduced the Cell Phone Freedom Act under the new session of parliament on November 3, 2011, as Bill C-343.[2]


The Cell Phone Freedom Act, if passed, would have mandated that:

  • consumers buying new cell phones in Canada must be informed of the existence of any SIM lock (also known as a network lock) on their phone before sale;
  • wireless phone companies must unlock handsets upon request, without fee, when a consumer purchases a new phone outright (unsubsidized) without a contract;
  • wireless phone companies must unlock handsets upon request, without fee, when a consumer comes to the end of their contract, or at any time thereafter.

Under the proposed legislation, wireless service providers may still employ such locks on customer phones while under contract, so it is unlikely to impact the common practice of offering subsidized phones on contracts.


Rogers Wireless (and its sub-brand Fido Solutions) announced on December 15, 2010 that they would start offering to unlock all of their customers handsets for a flat fee of $50, in response to public pressure on the issue.[3] The other two major national carriers, Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility, and their sub-brands followed suit in early 2011 provided that the device operated on their network as well as having a postpaid account for at least 90 days.[4][5]

While the bill never became law, SIM locking was ultimately banned in Canada on December 1, 2017 as part of amendments to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's Wireless Code. All new devices in Canada must be sold unlocked, and carriers must offer to unlock existing phones free-of-charge.[6]


  1. ^ Bill C-560 http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=4640240&Language=e&Mode=1
  2. ^ Bill C-343 http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=5218290
  3. ^ "Telus to start unlocking its phones". CBC. February 7, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  4. ^ LaSalle, LuAnn (February 7, 2011). "Telus to offer service to unlock phones". The Toronto Star. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  5. ^ Hardy, Ian (May 31, 2012). "TELUS will now unlock your iPhone for $50 (starts June 1st)". MobileSyrup. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  6. ^ "Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2017-200". CRTC. June 15, 2017. Retrieved June 15, 2017.

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