New CRTC Chair appointed by Liberal Minister Pablo Rodriguez

As Bill C-11 gets closer to becoming law, Justin Trudeau’s Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez just appointed a new CRTC chair, who has been working in the federal government since 2011.

New CRTC Chair appointed by Liberal Minister Pablo Rodriguez
The Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld
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Vicky Eatrides was just appointed by Liberal Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez to be the new Chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

“The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage, today announced the appointment of Vicky Eatrides as the next Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Ms. Eatrides’ appointment is for a term of five years effective January 5, 2023,” the government's press release reads. 

Eatrides obtained an L.L.B. at the University of Ottawa in 2000, after completing an undergraduate degree from the same university. She has been working in the federal government since 2011, first at the competition bureau as a Senior Competition Law Officer, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs. 

She later became the Chief of Staff at Competition Bureau Canada. 

Eatrides will be replacing Ian Scott in January, who is the current chair of the CRTC. 

Alongside Eatrides, Rodriguez appointed Alicia Barin to be the Interim Vice-Chairperson of the CRTC. Adam Scott was also appointed as the second vice-chairperson, with Barin. 

This change comes as Bill C-11 just finished being studied at the Senate level, making the piece of legislature a step closer to becoming law. 

Bill C-11 is one of the Trudeau government’s latest attempts at regulating and censoring the internet, to allegedly promote Canadian content creators, as Rodriguez claims. 

As the Senate of Canada puts it, “Bill C-11 would give the CRTC new powers, including the ability to impose financial penalties against people and businesses that violate certain provisions of the Broadcasting Act or its regulations.”

The new chair of the CRTC would hence have an enormous responsibility on her hands. 

Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, explained that “the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications completed its extensive review of Bill C-11 recently.”

Geist has been vocal about his changing views regarding Bill C-11. Recently, Geist has explained that the big test for the government will be how it reacts to amendments made by the Senate. 

“If the government is serious about its repeated assurances that it is open to improving the bill, dismissing the amendments that are broadly consistent with the government’s stated objectives should be a non-starter,” he wrote. 

“There are outliers – age verification and the CBC regulation among them – but the amendments addressing the most contentious issues such as user content regulation and CRTC independence are genuine improvements. If the government rejects even those amendments, the signal will be unmistakable.”

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  • By David Menzies

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