CRTC Chair Ian Scott Isn’t Leaving in September Just Yet

According to people familiar with the matter, the federal government has decided to extend Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) chairman Ian Scott’s term until the end of this year reports the National Post.

Scott’s four-year term as CRTC chair ends today. However, a government source said Scott will be kept on as chairman while Ottawa searches for his replacement.

The feds haven’t had much luck finding a replacement yet, and the source said they want to take their time to find the right person for the job.

Canada is in the process of passing two controversial bills — Bill C-11 (aka the Online Streaming Act) and Bill C-18 (or the Online News Act) that will give the CRTC more authority over digital media and platforms like Facebook, Google, and Netflix.

As such, the Liberal government wants to ensure they install a new CRTC chair that can lead the regulator through this change, has “digital credibility,” and can match its new responsibilities.

Bills C-11 and C-18 have also created a divide between people who believe it is important for massive internet companies to contribute to Canadian culture, and those who are concerned they give the CRTC too much power. There are also fears the CRTC will be allowed to regulate user-generated content under the new legislation.

That being the case, Scott’s replacement must also be able to bridge that gap. Experts said back in July that such a person will be difficult, if not impossible, to find.

The extension of Scott’s term as head of the CRTC comes just a week after Canada’s Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner (CIEC) cleared him of any wrongdoing in his controversial 2019 pub meeting with Mirko Bibic, then-COO, now-CEO of Bell. Scott has been accused of professional misconduct and bias by independent internet service provider TekSavvy.