Ethics Commissioner says CRTC head’s beers with Bell’s Bibic not a conflict of interest

In a report, the Ethics Commissioner called the relationship between Ian Scott and Mirko Bibic "exclusively professional"

Canada’s ethics watchdog said Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) chairperson Ian Scott didn’t breach the Conflict of Interest Act.

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner (CIEC) Mario Dion released a report regarding meetings Scott held with telecom providers while those providers had files before the CRTC. This included the now-infamous (at least, in Canadian telecom spheres) 2019 pub meeting with BCE and Bell Canada president and CEO Mirko Bibic.

A week prior to the pub meeting, Bell filed an application with the CRTC to review a telecom order issued in August 2019. In May 2021, Scott was on the panel that issued a decision to change the 2019 order.

Although Scott’s meeting with Bibic calls for his removal as chairperson of the CRTC and accusations of bias, Dian wrote in the report that the relationship between Bibic and Scott was “exclusively professional.” However, Dion also notes that whether the meeting raises a “reasonable apprehension of bias” will be determined by the Federal Court of Appeal and is a separate case.

Canada’s Integrity Commissioner referred the issue to CIEC earlier this year.

Image credit: CRTC

Source: Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Via: The Globe and Mail

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