Dalfen to head CRTC

Ottawa - Charles Dalfen, a Toronto communications lawyer, has been appointed as the new chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Dalfen, a vice-chairman of the communications regulator in the late 1970s, replaces David Colville, who has been the acting chairman since the departure of Francoise Bertrand in December 2000.

Dalfen, a 58-year-old partner in the Torys law firm, would be the highest-paid "culturecrat" in Ottawa, with a salary range of $317,000 to $370,000 reports the National Post. That is likely to be less than he was capable of making at Torys, but still more than the salary of Robert Rabinovitch, president of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, whose range is $262,000-$308,000.

"This announcement is good news for the CRTC and the entire Canadian broadcasting system," said Michael McCabe, CAB President and CEO.

"As a former Vice-Chair of the CRTC, and a highly-regarded lawyer whose clients have included some of Canada's key players in the broadcasting system, Charles Dalfen comes to this position well-versed in the industry issues, challenges and trends. His skills as both a leader and as a consensus builder will be crucial as the CRTC takes on the challenges of ensuring Canadian broadcasters remain competitive and deliver Canadian voices and
stories in the new global, digital environment," added McCabe in a statement.

Dalfen has been a communications lawyer for more than 30 years, serving as CRTC vice-chairman from 1976 to 1980. He has also been a deputy minister in the British Columbia government and a legal advisor to the federal government. More recently, his private-sector clients have ranged from Bell Canada to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. He also advised the government of Bermuda on its transition from a telecommunications monopoly to competition.

The chairman has one vote among 13 when the commission decides issues such as the length of TV licence renewals or the amount telephone firms can charge for 911 service.

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