Will This Veteran Ottawa Insider Take Over the CRTC? Let’s Hope Not

The federal government is on the verge of finally announcing a new chairman for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to take over from Konrad von Finckenstein. Industry players believe that man could be Jean-Pierre Blais, according to The Globe and Mail.

Jean-Pierre is an Ottawa insider and veteran public servant. He would likely be “relatively compliant” with Conservative government policy leanings, the Globe and Mail notes, unlike Konrad.

Jean-Pierre is being described as “more of a conciliation-minded type who would seek compromise on issues rather than strike out independently with bold initiatives.” Most Canadian consumers, however, would argue that’s the opposite of what we need, given the shoddy state of today’s wireless sector—in fact, critics have already dubbed him a “figurehead” who will “just warm the seat [and] get paid a lot.”

The potential CRTC chairman is a lawyer by training and has served as an executive director at the CRTC before. But the keyword in that sentence is “potential”—Harper and his team won’t comment on speculation until the news is officially announced.

Photo: Mike Carroccetto/Ottawa Citizen