Joly Appoints Ian Scott Chairperson of CRTC

By Pat Mullen

Ian Scott is the new chairperson of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The announcement from Canadian Heritage comes via Newswire that Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly tapped Scott for the position.

Scott assumes the position following the departure of controversial CRTC head Jean-Pierre Blais, who rocked Canadian media with the approval of the Corus-Shaw merger and unequal regulation of content producers in the Internet age. However, Scott brings over 25 years’ worth of experience in both the public and private sector to this position with roles at the Federal Competition Bureau, the CRTC, Telesat Canada and Telus under his belt, in addition to his work as a lobbyist.

Also stepping up to the CRTC offices are Caroline J. Simard as Vice-Chairperson (Broadcasting) and Christianne M. Laizner as Interim Vice-Chairperson (Telecommunications).

“This is a dynamic team that will bring new vision and leadership to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission,” said Mme. Joly in a release from Canadian Heritage. “Mr. Scott and Dr. Simard have extensive experience in the industry and a deep understanding of what Canadians expect in their telecommunications and broadcasting systems. These leaders will implement a strong vision for the CRTC, focusing on service to Canadians and supporting the production and dissemination of diverse creative content that will lead to the success of our telecommunications, creators and creative industries in the digital era.” Joly’s emphasis on digital (once again) is notable.

“Under their leadership, the CRTC will continue to champion the social and economic needs of Canadians by encouraging more competition and innovation among telecommunications providers,” added the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “This way, all Canadians will benefit from a broader choice of high-quality services at affordable prices.”

Scott begins his official appointment as CRTC chairperson on September 5, 2017.

Top policy critic Michael Geist is raising concerns on Twitter. We’ll update with more reactions as they develop:

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