Ottawa to Name Former Telus VP Ian Scott as Head of CRTC: Report

According to the Financial Post, the Federal Government is set to name telecom veteran Ian Scott as the new chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC):

The federal government is poised to announce that telecom industry veteran Ian Scott will be chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Financial Post has learned.

The hiring of Scott is seen as more friendly towards the telecom industry, compared to former chairman Jean-Pierre Blais’ consumer-centric approach, which butted heads with wireless companies.

As a veteran of the telecom industry for over 25 years, he was a former vice-president at Telus, while currently is the executive director of government and regulatory affairs at satellite company, Telesat, where he has previously been registered as a lobbyist for.

Scott was the CRTC’s chief policy advisor in 2007 and 2008—while still registered as a lobbyist for Telesat, which led to allegations of conflict of interest, which he denied any wrongdoing. He has also worked for the Competition Bureau.

The Post reports Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly will also announce the hiring of Caroline Simard, a long-time bureaucrat, as vice chair of broadcasting.

Both bilingual hires will start five-year terms at the CRTC in September, once interim chair Judith LaRocque’s current term expires.

Other hires will also be announced, such as two regional commissioners. Canadian Heritage needs to fill 8 positions of out 13 still, and has been criticized for slow hiring to fill vacancies.

Jean-Pierre Blais said back in June, prior to his departure, “Until the current reality changes — if indeed it ever does — Canada will always have a problem of high retail wireless prices,” referring to incumbents Rogers, Telus and Bell, who currently dominate the wireless market in Canada.