Melanie Aitken

Competition Commissioner Melanie Aitken announced today that she will resign on Sept. 21. She will be leaving in the middle of the evidentiary portion of the long-awaited Competition Tribunal hearing between the Competition Bureau and the Toronto Real Estate Board, which begins Sept. 10.

Aitken was appointed in 2009 for a five-year term. No reason was given for her resignation.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to work at the bureau for the past seven years, with over half of that time as commissioner,” says Aitken in a statement. “At the outset, I identified clear goals to reinvigorate enforcement at the bureau and, with the help of the bureau’s dedicated staff, I believe we have accomplished what we set out to do and positioned the bureau to continue its valuable work well into the future.”

A news release from the Competition Bureau calls Aitken a “tough enforcer and a vigorous proponent of protecting and promoting the forces of competition.”

It says her tenure as commissioner includes a long list of accomplishments.

“Canadians today have access to more competitive markets, such as real estate services, and are better protected against misleading representations, including those resulting from fine-print disclaimers,” says the release.

Aitken joined the bureau in 2005 as assistant deputy commissioner of competition, mergers, and was appointed senior deputy commissioner, mergers in May 2007. She served as interim commissioner from Jan.12, 2009 to Aug. 4, 2009, when she was appointed as commissioner for a five-year term.

Prior to joining the bureau, Aitken was a commercial litigation partner at Bennett Jones LLP. From 2001 and 2003, she worked as senior counsel at the Department of Justice (Federal), on secondment from her partnership at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP in Toronto.

Photo: Couvrette Photography, Ottawa