The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. The majority won by the Liberal party in last month’s federal election may prove to be monumental for the telecom industry. Not only will the Grits likely support the creation of a CA*net 4 national broadband network, (NL, Nov. 20/00), on a bureaucratic level, there are indications that sweeping changes are on the way.  When Prime Minister Chrétien unveils his cabinet later this month, insiders suggest it will have a decidedly retro look to it. Scuttlebutt has it that another department of communications will be created. This department would borrow from the portfolios of Canadian Heritage, Industry and Foreign Affairs and International Trade in promoting a broad communications plan for the country. Also being touted is a ministry of urban affairs. While it is expected such a department would primarily concern itself with big city items like homelessness and construction of residential housing, it may also find itself involved with matters that affect telecommunications. Public rights of way, for example, may be a local responsibility, but as conduits for telecom facilities, they also fall under the auspices of the Telecommunications Act. Some might call this heading back to the future. Pierre Trudeau established a communications department in the 1970s under the direction of Eric Kierans. With the expansion of the Internet, the shattering of telco monopolies, and the growth of new technologies, the time is ripe for another portfolio of this type. Perhaps this new department will also take steps to bring Canada’s two key pieces of communications legislation – the Telecom and Broadcasting Acts – back under a single roof. Similarly, a department concentrating on urban issues could do much to alleviate the bickering between telcos and municipal governments. It is in everyone’s interests to solve problems of rights of way and to cooperate in the advancement of community fibre networks. Chrétien surprised many with the outcome of this election, especially those of us who predicted a minority government in the office pool. If the prime minister follows through on the creation of new departments addressing the concerns of the telecom business, he may surprise us again.