Request to CRTC chairman for information respecting alleged corruption

TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, has been notified of an alleged case of long-term corruption at the quasi-judicial administrative tribunal that has purportedly served to unjustly enrich shareholders of several corporations, including Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications and Vidéotron.

The serious allegations have been made by Keith Mahar, a former broadcasting industry insider who has recently requested the opportunity to testify about this governance issue before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.  The parliamentary committee has yet to respond to his request.

Mr Mahar was formerly employed by CHUM Limited for his specialist knowledge of the cable television industry and its regulation by the CRTC.  He was previously designated as a public interest litigant by Justice Sharpe in Mahar v Rogers Cablesystems Ltd., a precedent-setting legal case that continues to shape costs jurisprudence in public interest litigation.

Mr Mahar has also requested specific information from the CRTC chairman, related to the destruction of documents by the federal regulator weeks after Stephen Harper became Prime Minister and appointed former CRTC Commissioner Bev Oda as Minister of Canadian Heritage.

At issue is the destruction on 27 March 2006 of all documents stored in CRTC file 1000-121, including an unpublished decision made by the Commission respecting a complaint of unlawful activities related to cable television rates initiated by Mr Mahar.

On 5 January 2006, lawyer Paul Armarego notified Stephen Harper of Mr Mahar's allegations of corruption and the existence of CRTC file 1000-121.

Mr Armarego provided additional information and documents to Prime Minister Harper two years ago, including a copy of the unpublished CRTC decision.

Copies of this correspondence is available on

Professor Matthew Fraser publicly alleged in 2000 that the CRTC was cursed by institutionalized corruption and had been totally captured by corporate media interests since the late 1980's.

"A public inquiry into the CRTC is long overdue," stated Mr Mahar.

SOURCE: Public Interest Advocate

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