A PYMNTS Company

Canada: Lobbyist appointed to top telecom regulator position

 |  August 1, 2017

The federal government has named former telecom executive and lobbyist, Ian Scott, to be the next head of the CRTC, the regulatory body in charge of setting and enforcing the rules in Canada’s broadcast and telecommunications industries.

Scott will be the next chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission starting September 5th, for a five-year term. He will head up the regulator after a 25-year year career in telecom, including stints at the Competition Bureau and lesser roles at the CRTC, but predominantly as an executive with various telecom companies. Most recently, Scott was executive director of government and regulatory affairs at satellite firm Telesat.

In announcing Scott’s hiring, Heritage Minister Melanie Joly noted his “deep understanding of what Canadians expect in their telecommunications and broadcasting systems.”

Scott’s appointment have many Canadian consumer advocates worried that after several years of aiding consumers, Canada is eager to follow their neighbors to the south ‘down the regulatory capture rabbit hole’. “This is a concerning choice by the government,” said OpenMedia communications manager Meghan Sali, who also noted that, under Blais, the regulator declared broadband Internet a basic service in Canada.

“Canadians were hoping for somebody with a strong consumer rights background, and will undoubtedly be disheartened to see the Trudeau government place someone from industry into the top decision-making position.”

Full Content: Tech Dirt

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.