June 12th, 2024

Bell Canada CEO Mirko Bibic defends job cuts in Commons committee testimony

By The Canadian Press on April 11, 2024.

Mirko Bibic, president and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada speaks during a CRTC hearing in Gatineau, Que., on February 19, 2020. Mirko is defending his company's decision to layoff thousands of employees, citing a shift in Canadians viewing habits from traditional TV to online. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA – The head of Bell Canada is defending his company’s decision to cut thousands of jobs, citing a shift in Canadians viewing habits from traditional TV to online.

CEO Mirko Bibic is appearing before the House of Commons heritage committee today after being ordered to appear by parliamentarians.

The Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats want to know why BCE Inc. is laying off about nine per cent of its workforce despite federal help.

BCE Inc., the parent company of Bell Media, is cutting some 4,800 jobs, ending multiple television newscasts and selling off 45 of its 103 radio stations.

Canadian Heritage critic Rachael Thomas says it’s “really rich” for a company worth $40 billion that received government subsidies to lay off workers.

In a combative exchange, Bibic defended the move, blaming factors like productivity, inflation and delays in the federal Online Streaming Act, meant to level the playing field between broadcasters and streaming companies.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 11, 2024.

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