Alberta cellphone users to help fund 911 centres starting in April
44 cent levy to be included on monthly bills
Cellphone customers in Alberta will see a 44 cent levy on their monthly bills starting April 1 when the Emergency 911 Act takes effect.
Landline phone customers have had to pay 44 cents a month for 911 services for the last 12 years, but now the government wants cellphone customers to pay the exact same monthly fee.
The levy will help fund 911 call centres across the province.
The new act includes fines for frivolous 911 calls — $5,000 for first-time offenders and $10,000 for repeat offenders.
It will also allow for the creation of provincewide standards for 911 call taking.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi applauded the move when it was announced last year.
"My best guess is that this 44 cents will pay for approximately 30 to 50 per cent of the cost of running the 911 centre, so it's not everything but it's not nothing," he said at the time.