Because as of June 3, 2015, no matter when your contract was supposed to end with your carrier in Canada, it is done. Your device balance is zero, zip, zilch as of June 3, even if your original three year contract wasn’t going to expire until 2016. See the CBC story below for full details.
The key to this is the timing, because of how the CRTC changes the rules and most carriers switched new and renewing customers to two-year plans. A boatload of customers of the big 3 are all going to be up with expired contracts in June. This means you have the power now to shop around for deals on phones and plans that you wouldn’t normally have.
Check with your provider, as Rogers has already begun zeroing out device balances owing, but the other Canadian carriers will be following suit soon. Call your provider to see what they are offering, but don’t just jump at the first offer. Shop around and see if some of the smaller companies (such as Wind) have better deals. Also keep in mind that Fido, Virgin, and Koodo are all just “flanker” brands for the big 3 (Bell, Rogers and Telus).
One last hint, don’t get stuck with deals on phones being offered for $0. These are often older devices, like the Samsung Galaxy 4 or Apple iPhone 4 0r 5. While this might seem like a good deal, you are going to get locked into a two-year plan that would leave you with a device that could be 6-7 years old in its tech by the time your contract is up.
If you can afford it, your best bet is always to buy your device outright, as that gives you the best options in the long run. One way or the other, take advantage of the offers available to you right. I’m stuck in the middle of a new two-year plan after my last phone died…so I’m stuck. Don’t let that happen to you.