Competition Bureau chief Melanie Aitken steps down
With two years left in her mandate to protect Canadians from unscrupulous business practices, Canada’s Competition Commissioner has unexpectedly quit her post.
Melanie Aitken, who raised the Competition Bureau’s profile considerably in her three years at the helm by going after the real estate and credit card industries, said there’s nothing left for her to accomplish in the role as she announced her decision.
It caught many in the business community off guard. Ms. Aitken has been considered one of the most aggressive commissioners in the Competition Bureau’s history and there are still several high-profile cases she initiated that have yet to be resolved.
“Having accomplished largely what I set out to do and implemented my ideas and my vision, I think I’ve contributed my piece and it’s time to return home to new challenges,” said Ms. Aitken, who has split her time between her family in Toronto and her job in Ottawa since taking her first job at the bureau seven years ago.
After serving in several roles at the bureau, Ms. Aitken was appointed to a five-year term as commissioner in 2009.
She promptly made a name for herself as a watchdog with a penchant for choosing large targets – a task made easier by new powers that allowed her office to issue fines of up to $25-million for anti-competitive behaviour and gave commissioners the ability to delay mergers by up to a year while reviewing them.