Monday, October 1, 2012

Regulating for benefit of regulators

CRTC exec who spent evening in Bell box operated in 'gray area': Ethics expert, DANNY JONCAS, QMI AGENCY, Toronto Sun, Sept. 28, 2012:
"MONTREAL - Nine months after his appointment as vice-chairman of broadcasting at the Canadian Radio-Television and telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Tom Pentefountas placed himself in an awkward situation by spending an evening in Bell's corporate box at the arena that bears its name.

"Bell confirmed that Pentefountas attended a Canadiens match at the Bell Centre in the telecom giant's loge on Dec. 8, 2011.

"His presence in the Bell box raises questions, says an ethics expert, given that the CRTC regulates Bell and all other telecom companies.

"The situation is all the more delicate given that Bell executives appeared before Pentefountas earlier this month at CRTC hearings into Bell's proposed deal to buy Astral Media.

"The transaction, valued at $3.38 billion, is the largest in the history of the Canadian telecom industry..."
Fire CRTC vice-chair, MPs demand, Laura Payton, CBC News, March 23, 2011:‪
"MPs on a parliamentary committee are calling for the government to fire a top official at Canada's broadcast industry regulator.

"The House Canadian heritage committee tabled a motion Wednesday demanding the minister in charge of the file immediately fire Tom Pentefountas as full-time commissioner and vice-chair (broadcasting) at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

"...Opposition MPs say Pentefountas got the government appointment because of his ties to Conservative officials, including Senator Leo Housakos and Dimitri Soudas, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's director of communications.

"NDP heritage critic Charlie Angus and NDP House Leader Libby Davies charged last month that Pentefountas doesn't meet several of the job's requirements, including an in-depth knowledge of the broadcasting industry and media convergence..."
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