TORONTO, ON – The Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. (BCE Inc.) announcement that it would axe 4,800 jobs is already having negative and serious impacts on workers and communities. Bell revealed they would also be cancelling the noon news broadcasts on all CTV stations aside from Toronto, as well as its dinner and evening weekend newscasts on all CTV and CTV2 stations, except in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.
Bell has attempted to lay the job losses at the feet of the federal government, blaming the government for taking too long to provide relief for media companies as well as the CRTC for being too slow to provide relief through Bills C-18 and C-11. In an open letter, Bell’s chief executive Mirko Bibic reported that the company’s news division is seeing more than $40 million in annual operating losses, but Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge noted that the company was granted more than $40 million in annual regulatory relief by the federal government. In a press conference, the Minister stated, “”I am extremely disappointed in Bell Canada’s decision for many reasons. In the past decade, when acquisitions were allowed for those big companies to acquire television stations or radio stations, it came with the promise that they would deliver on news content. And today, they are backing [away] from that promise.”
The IATSE represents workers at two Northern Ontario CTV television stations where, following Bell’s announcement, five workers immediately lost their jobs. “These and the thousands of other job losses across the country are devastating, but particularly galling since Bell reported a $2.3 billion profit at the end of last year,” said IATSE International Vice President John Lewis. “The loss of local news to cities and smaller communities is a blow to democracy, and Bell should be ashamed of themselves.”
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Krista Hurdon, IATSE International Representative