CRTC chiefs who drank beer with lobbyists were not wrong, ethics committee says

Ian Scott, CEO of Canada’s Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), did not violate conflict of interest laws by sharing a beer in a pub with a prominent lobbyist, ethics commissioner Mario Dion said. I’m here.

Scott was spotted at an Ottawa pub in December 2019 with Mirko Bivic, then CEO of Bell Canada Enterprises and a month later as president and CEO of the telecommunications giant.

“Mr. Scott wrote that he paid for his drink and Mr. Vivic paid for his,” Dion wrote on Aug. 24.scott report,” was first reported by Blacklock’s Reporter.

“He wrote that no form of gift, benefit, or hospitality was exchanged.”

Scott said his relationship with Vivic was purely “professional.” Despite a calendar entry at the time that marked his meeting as a “social” event.

“Mr. Scott noted that the ‘social’ aspect of the conference, used in the calendar entries, reflects the conference’s character as a conference that does not plan to discuss substantive issues related to broadcasting and telecommunications.” I am writing that I intend,” Dion wrote.

“The relationship between Mr Scott and Mr Bibick was not a friendship in the legal sense as they remained exclusively professionals despite working in the same industry for more than 20 years,” he added. .

A week before Scott and Bibick’s pub meeting, Bell filed with the CRTC to review and change telecom orders made in August 2019, Dion wrote in the report.

In May 2021, the CRTC panel, of which Scott was a member, made a decision to change the 2019 Telecommunications Order filed by Bell.

“Mr. Vivic was featured as a friend of Mr. Scott in a February 2020 media article. Dion“By participating in the May 2021 telecom decisions, Mr. Scott had an opportunity to promote the personal interests of his friends or to improperly promote the interests of companies whose CEOs were friends. I was afraid it would.”

Scott defended drinks with Bell’s CEO during testimony in House industry Committee In February 2022, he said his meeting was “recorded” and “based on well-established rules.”

Conservative MP Bernard Genreux said: “Maybe your meeting in that bar wasn’t recorded.

“I have a meeting,” Scott replied.

“This has gotten a lot of attention, but it doesn’t change the situation,” he said, adding, “We have meetings and, as you said yourself, we follow the rules. Reported on my agenda, parties report them and we follow the rules.”

peter wilson


Peter Wilson is a reporter based in Ontario, Canada.