The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. The current proceedings looking into foreign investment restrictions reveal the sharp learning curve needed to understand all the complexities of this issue. Observers were worried on the opening day when members of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology seemed baffled by the details outlined by senior staff from Industry Canada.   Questions were asked that are more correctly the jurisdiction of the CRTC; one MP wanted to know if changing the foreign ownership limits would affect the operation of BlackBerries and similar PDAs. Another was confused by the description of delivery systems as "pipes." But as the weeks moved on, the politicians appeared to get a firmer grasp on the topic and the vital importance the telecom sector has in the Canadian economy. Questions were raised about the cost of network access and the cost of acquiring capital. When one witness delved into technological jargon, MPs were not afraid to demand translations into the vernacular. Before long, the committee members had recognized the different policy goals of ILECs, CLECs, consumers’ groups, community broadband networks and outside consultants. When University of Toronto professor Hudson Janisch remarked, "I wish to risk treading on some toes and give you the benefit of advice from someone who has a tenured university job to go back to," the room exploded in chuckles as the MPs appreciated the irony. It is clear that the industry is more concerned about the regulatory process than the foreign investment restrictions. While access to outside capital is important, slashing government red tape is a greater priority. The committee is hamstrung to a certain extent, because the CRTC falls under the jurisdiction of Canadian Heritage. Any recommendations it makes regarding commission operations will not carry the weight of proposals by the Heritage committee, which has completed hearings into the broadcast field but not yet released its final report. Nevertheless, the industry committee has an opportunity to ensure that barriers to the smooth operation of telecommunications are eliminated.