Ryan Reynolds wants your help to bring his U.S.-based Mint Mobile telecom company to Canada.
The Vancouver-born actor has launched a billboard in downtown Toronto (at Yonge and Edward) to promote Mint Mobile. “Why not Mint?” reads the ad, which also features Reynolds looking quizzically into a phone alongside mention of “mintmobile.ca.”
Head to that website and you’ll see a short ad with Reynolds in a cubicle taking phone calls. In the video, Reynolds notes that many Canadians have asked why Mint — which is well-known in the U.S. for offering low-cost phone plans — isn’t available in his home country. “Canadians pay some of the highest wireless costs anywhere,” acknowledges Reynolds.
“I kinda wanna say call your representative — is that too aggressive? I’m not saying call your representative, but I’m also not-not saying that.”
The Mint website also offers a link so you can “find your representative,” although it requests that you “please be nice,” if you do contact them.
This isn’t the first time Reynolds has spoken about potentially bringing Mint to Canada. In September 2020, he said he was actively “working” on making that happen. While he didn’t get into specifics, he’s no doubt been running into issues with Canada’s complicated telecom industry, which is dominated by the likes of Rogers, Bell and Telus. Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) like Mint have historically been unable to operate in Canada.
While the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved a new access model in April that would require big telecom to provide MVNOs with access to their networks, the catch was that they’d need to have invested in network infrastructure and spectrum. This decision received criticism from a number of groups, as they argued that this ultimately still benefits “Big Telecom.”
It’s unclear what influence, if any, Reynolds and his fans might have on the government.