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:
2/x I do think the appointment signals the government’s desire for less confrontation & drama at CRTC.— Michael Geist (@mgeist) July 18, 2017
3/x Choosing telco person important too. There was significant pressure on Joly to put a culture/b’cast person in the chair.— Michael Geist (@mgeist) July 18, 2017
4/x Despite fears, there is history of people surprising once become independent commissioners/chairs – Blais, Wheeler (FCC), Therrien (OPC)— Michael Geist (@mgeist) July 18, 2017
5/x Recall that Liberals would not criticize Therrien pick at OPC despite civil society fears that he came from security background.— Michael Geist (@mgeist) July 18, 2017
6/x Consistent approach: find qualified people & trust them to do their jobs. Bottom line: Way too early to assume anything about new chair.— Michael Geist (@mgeist) July 18, 2017
Other points of view:
After canvassing stakeholders for thoughts on new #CRTC chair, here's what they said. Industry: Solid choice. Consumer advocates: Ugh.— Peter Nowak (@peternowak) July 18, 2017
melaniejoly</a> is addressing <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CRTC?src=hash">#CRTC</a> vacancies. We look forward to a new direction for commission. <a href="https://t.co/34E3BSwzcj">https://t.co/34E3BSwzcj</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CdnTV?src=hash">#CdnTV</a></p>— Writers Guild of CA (WGCtweet) July 18, 2017
Interesting to see priorities for new CRTC leaders highlighted by— Christine Dobby (@christinedobby) July 18, 2017
melaniejoly</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/MinisterISED">MinisterISED in the release pic.twitter.com/B3QYbMgAj5
On telecom, after long time with no clear policy, Liberal government now frequently emphasizing desire for competition & affordable prices— Christine Dobby (@christinedobby) July 18, 2017
I think it's worth noting that among the
CRTCeng</a> commissioners, only Dupras and Simpson have TV or radio making experience. And it's dated.</p>— Greg O'Brien (gregobr) July 18, 2017
Choice of Ian Scott 2 head #CRTC doesnt bode well but rmbr Daniel Therriean
OPC</a> came from Harper Govt, done gr8 job <a href="https://t.co/XofEkkFHfj">https://t.co/XofEkkFHfj</a></p>— Dwayne Winseck (mediamorphis) July 17, 2017
That's where Ian Scott landed. Had more hair when I worked with him at the CRTC in the late '80's. #TalkBroadband— Leonard Eichel (@ldeichel) April 13, 2016