Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Bell CEO, other execs called to committee to answer questions about job cuts | CBC News

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Members of Parliament have invited several top executives from BCE Inc. and Bell Canada to testify later this month about the company’s decision to cut about nine per cent of its workforce this year.

The House of Commons heritage committee agreed to invite BCE Inc. CEO Mirko Bibic to address the cuts, which will have impacts on newsrooms across the country.

The committee also agreed to invite Bell Media president Sean Cohan and the parent company’s chief financial officer Curtis Millen, along with a handful of others.

The Liberal motion to invite the executives on Feb. 29 was supported by the NDP and Bloc Quebecois, with the Conservatives on the committee abstaining from voting.

Mirko Bibic is the president and CEO of Bell Canada. He and other executives have been invited by MPs to address the company’s decision to cut 4,800 positions. (CBC)

BCE Inc., the parent company of Bell Media, announced last week it is cutting its workforce by 4,800 positions, ending multiple television newscasts and selling off 45 of its 103 radio stations.

The company blamed its cuts on the federal government and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, saying Ottawa took too long to provide relief to media companies in crisis.

The layoffs drew a sharp rebuke by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said he was “furious” and called the move a “garbage decision by a corporation that should know better.”

Trudeau suggested his government will be “demanding” better from corporations like Bell, but it’s not yet clear what that would look like.

Bell said the 4,800 job cuts amount to the largest round of cuts it’s made in nearly 30 years.

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