Charles Dalfen, the former head of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and a respected telecommunications lawyer, died Tuesday afternoon.
A spokesman for Mr. Dalfen's law firm Torys LLP said the cause of death was a heart attack. Mr. Dalfen was 66 years old.
"Charles was a warm, wonderful and loyal friend, a team player, and a real gentleman," said Les Viner, managing partner of Torys. "Charles was a formidable mind in his field, inspiring others to excellence by his force of example, and his presence added real lustre to the firm. He was truly a remarkable man and will be deeply missed."
During his four years as chair of the CRTC between 2002 and 2006, Mr. Dalfen was known as a strong champion of Canadian content. Under his leadership, the CRTC's complex web of content and market rules faced numerous challenges from advances in new media, such as the Internet, and the rise of controversial ethnic specialty television programming such as Al-Jazeera television.
Prior to his leadership at the CRTC, Mr. Dalfen rotated between jobs in Ottawa and Bay Street, first as legal adviser and deputy minister to communications ministries, and as vice-chairman of the CRTC. For most of the 1980s and 1990s he lead the communications practice at Torys.