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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TekSavvy seeks investigation of CRTC Chair by federal Integrity Commissioner

New filing says Ian Scott broke federal rules and misled parliamentary committee about misconduct

March 2, 2022. Chatham, Ontario. TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (“TekSavvy”) today filed a disclosure to the federal Integrity Commissioner, seeking an investigation into wrongdoing by Ian Scott, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the “CRTC”). A public version of TekSavvy’s filing can be downloaded here.

The filing contains evidence cited in TekSavvy’s Petition to the Liberal Government, which shows Scott held numerous ex parte meetings with incumbent telecom lobbyists during regulatory proceedings concerning pricing of internet and mobile services. Scott was photographed in a private meeting with Mirko Bibic, the CEO of Bell, at an Ottawa bar on December 19, 2019. This meeting occurred just one week after the CRTC opened an active file to hear Bell’s application to reverse its 2019 decision to lower wholesale internet rates. The CRTC later arbitrarily approved Bell’s request and reversed its own decision, resulting in less competition and higher internet prices for millions of Canadians.

Scott’s private meeting with Bibic during a contentious proceeding about federal utility pricing has garnered much public attention. On February 1, 2022, the Toronto Star published an interview in which Scott claimed, “no rule was ever broken” and explained he was having a drink with a friend he has known “for many years.” On February 8, 2022, Scott was questioned by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology (“INDU”), where he again insisted that he did nothing wrong by meeting with Bibic.

However, TekSavvy contends that Scott misled the INDU committee, since he clearly broke key federal rules, including the CRTC’s internal ethics protocols, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, and the rule of law (a regulator in a quasi-judicial role cannot avoid the appearance of bias while having one-on-one social engagements with a friend with an active file before him).

TekSavvy provides evidence suggesting Scott tried to conceal his own misconduct after the fact. The filing refers to new records obtained from the CRTC under the Access to Information Act that further undermine his credibility. For example, in response to a request for Scott’s calendar entry about his meeting with Bibic, the CRTC redacted the location, start and end times, and parts of the subject line, and also refused to provide key data and details required to verify his testimony. The filing notes that the only records disclosed by the CRTC, were created after Scott was photographed with Bibic:

“The meeting was only acknowledged through usual official channels (via the 5:57pm email) once it was already underway… Mr. Bibic appears to notice that he is being photographed; this appears to have prompted Mr. Scott to ask a member of his office staff to send an email confirming the meeting (notably without confirming its start time), containing the usual language advising the other party not to discuss any matter that is currently or imminently before the Commission.”

“The CRTC's role is to be an independent arbiter. Its 2019 rate decision was evidence-based. It would have lowered prices on a basic federal utility for millions of Canadians” said Andy Kaplan-Myrth, TekSavvy’s Vice-President of Regulatory and Carrier Affairs. “Now they’re having beers with Bell and making up numbers, while consumers pay the price.”

About TekSavvy
Based in Chatham, Ontario, TekSavvy is Canada’s largest independent telecom service company. TekSavvy has been proudly delivering award-winning services and fighting for consumers’ rights for more than 20 years. TekSavvy is committed to providing quality competitive choice and closing Canada’s digital divide.

For more information contact

Trevor Campbell,
The iPR Group 647-201-5409

John Settino,
The iPR Group 416-662-2955
media.relations@teksavvy.ca


Tony Wong, The Toronto Star, “‘No rule was ever broken:’ CRTC chair Ian Scott says meeting with Bell executive was a drink with a friend” 1 February 2022, available online at https://www.thestar.com/business/2022/02/01/no-rule-was-ever-broken-crtc-chair-ian-scott-says-meeting-with-bell-executive-was-a-drink-with-a-friend.html?rf

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