PattiWatch   Edition #1 - “She Manages What?”

July 13th, 2013

Ms Patti Ensor is the Manager, Commercial Alliances at CSA.  PattiWatch is a new and exciting series of articles chronicling the behaviour of Ms Ensor as she conducts her CSA activities.

Edition #1 - She Manages What?

Consider the example of Transport Canada, the entity which regulates the airline industry.  As a regulator, Transport Canada makes a lot of regulations covering airline conduct and it has the authority to enforce those regulations with fines and penalties.  Transport Canada certifies airlines to operate.  Its fairly important then, that Transport Canada operates objectively, impartially, that it treats the companies it regulates equally and fairly.

What would happen if Transport Canada entered a formal partnership with, say, Westjet?  The partnership would include payments from Westjet to Transport Canada in exchange for influence over Westjet’s competitors.  That is, Westjet would write the rules that Air Canada, Porter and all the other airlines would have to adhere to.  Would that be ok?  Transport Canada would then have a financial interest in the success of Westjet, and it could use its regulatory power to disadvantage Westjet’s competitors.  In this, a public regulator would have abandoned the impartiality upon which its credibility, and thereby its authority, is founded.

Patti Ensor is CSA’s Manager of Commercial Alliances.  The “alliances” part is worrying because CSA is a regulatory entity like Transport Canada, it makes rules and regulations and certifies that rules and regulations have been complied with.  Patti’s job is to formalize “alliances” with a small number of the companies that CSA regulates.  The few companies that are thus elevated enjoy special privileges denied to their competitors.  And through Patti’s services, CSA now has a financial interest in ensuring the profitability of the companies they’re allied with.  In these actions, Patti Ensor is undermining the impartiality upon which CSA’s credibility is founded. 

Commercial alliances are incompatible with regulatory activity.  One cannot simultaneously elevate a few companies while treating all companies equally.  Or more succinctly, partiality is the opposite of impartiality.  CSA is indefensibly compromised in formally allying with companies within the same markets that they are regulating.

The CSA organization needs to be returned to the rule of law, the integrity of its regulatory function restored and its credibility recovered.  RestoreCSA is committed to working with governments to facilitate that recovery.  And publicly exposing the questionable conduct of CSA is a key part of our campaign.  In the short time since our launch, RestoreCSA has received a lot of information about Patti Ensor, and in the coming months we’ll be chronicling some of the particulars of her conduct.  Stay tuned!