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DOC-509 New CRTC Chairperson Intensifies Consumer Focus With National Wireless Code

By Geoff White, Nordicity 
An Intensified Consumer Focus for the CRTC
On June 8th, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Jean-Pierre Blais would take the helm of Canada's telecommunications regulator the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for a 5-year term, effective June 18. In his first three months as Chairperson, Mr. Blais quickly intensified the CRTC's focus on consumer protection by creating a Chief Consumer Officer position; setting out a 3-year work plan that emphasizes consumer protection as one of the three key pillars of create, connect and protect; and overseeing a high-profile denial of BCE Inc.'s $3.4B bid to purchase Astral Media Inc. for failing to demonstrate that the deal was in the public interest.
In keeping with this consumer-oriented focus, on October 11, 2012, the CRTC decided to break with the past and intervene in the wireless marketplace by establishing a national code regarding wireless service contracts.
This article sets the stage for what will be another high-profile, high-stakes hearing, and also looks ahead to what promises to be a very interesting year for telecommunications in 2013.
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