From your “Listen Up” organizers

Sisters and brothers, the most effective way to effectively deal with your own Mental health is education.
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Unifor 1996-O Executive is here when you need us most.
Lee, Chris, Brian, Lloyd
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Brian Lowery
416.571.0106
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) Mental health and addiction


Sixty North Unity, Northwestel and Bell Canada announce transformative partnership to advance economic reconciliation

Source: https://www.bce.ca/news-and-media

  • Northwestel to be fully Indigenous-owned by Sixty North Unity, a consortium of Indigenous communities from the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut
  • Northwestel to become the largest Indigenous-owned telecommunications company globally
  • Strategic transaction will create more opportunities for investment and ownership in infrastructure and communications projects for northern Indigenous communities

WHITEHORSE and MONTRÉAL, June 11, 2024 – Sixty North Unity, a consortium of Indigenous communities from the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, as well as Northwestel and Bell Canada today announced a landmark partnership to advance Indigenous self-determination through the Indigenous ownership of critical telecommunications infrastructure in the North.

Sixty North Unity intends to acquire Northwestel, the leading telecommunications service provider in the North. Following the completion of the transaction, Northwestel will be the largest telecommunications company worldwide with full Indigenous ownership.

Building on Bell’s historic investments in the North, this partnership enables Sixty North Unity to continue to bridge the digital divide and continue to address the regional disparities in accessing high quality telecommunications services. With a focus on sustainable development and collaborative partnerships, the acquisition will provide Indigenous communities with greater access to long-term stable cash flows to reinvest in the critical areas of community infrastructure, housing, social services, health, and education programs for those that live and work in the North.

Sixty North Unity is planning significant capital investment to drive digital growth and enhance connectivity across the North to benefit communities and businesses, including:

  • Doubling Internet speeds to 1 Gbps (gigabits per second) for fibre customers;
  • Expanding high-speed Internet availability to meet the CRTC’s universal service objective of 50/10 Mbps to more than 97% of homes in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories;
  • Offering Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology to deliver 50/10 Mbps speeds to eight satellite-served communities in the Northwest Territories and 25 satellite-served communities in Nunavut;
  • Investing $4 million to build the Great Slave Lake Fibre Project, bringing critical resiliency to the Yellowknife capital and South Slave regions of the Northwest Territories and further safeguard against the impacts of wildfires and other natural disasters.

Sixty North Unity intends to maintain Northwestel’s established and experienced management team under the leadership of current President, Curtis Shaw, as well as their dedicated employee base. The Consortium intends to increase Indigenous representation in the workforce, in part through expanded training and mentorship programs. Northwestel’s corporate headquarters will remain in Whitehorse, with the operational headquarters remaining in Yellowknife, and the regional office in Iqaluit.

The transaction reinforces Bell’s commitment to the North by empowering local communities with control over their investment decision-making, while continuing to serve the North as the leading wireless services provider in the region. Bell will maintain a strong and strategic partnership with Northwestel beyond the transaction close through ongoing operational support, and as Northwestel’s largest customer.

The purchase price for the transaction is up to C$1 billion in cash, subject to adjustments. TD Securities is acting as financial advisor to Sixty North Unity on the transaction and RBC Capital Markets is acting as financial advisor to Bell.  Closing of the transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including the completion of confirmatory due diligence, securing financing and receipt of regulatory approvals. Bell intends to use the proceeds from the transaction to pay down debt.

Quotes
“As Indigenous people, we have long believed we are best placed to make the necessary decisions affecting services in our communities. The acquisition of Northwestel will give us the autonomy to make those investments and choices to serve our telecommunications needs into the future.”

– Tiffany Eckert-Maret, Sixty North Unity (Yukon)

“Indigenous partnerships with industry have continued to evolve and expand. This collaboration across all three territories will allow us to own and operate a leader in northern telecommunications services and is the next logical step in the development and growth of our businesses. Bell has provided us the support necessary to realize

– Darrell Beaulieu, Sixty North Unity (Northwest Territories)

“This acquisition allows us to take the lead in continuing to address the critical gap in telecommunications services in our northern communities. Expanded investments in fibre and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) infrastructure have the ability to transform the North and put us on equal footing with the rest of Canada.”

– David Omilgoitok, Sixty North Unity (Nunavut)

“The Northwestel team is filled with honour and gratitude to serve the North in this more profound way. This monumental step towards economic reconciliation will see direct benefits stay in northern Indigenous communities. I can’t wait to see what advancements this new partnership will bring to northern Canadians. We’re grateful for the leadership and support we’ve received from Bell Canada over the past 36 years and are excited to embark on this new chapter with Sixty North Unity.”

– Curtis Shaw, President, Northwestel

“This historic transaction embodies Bell’s ongoing commitment to walking the path of reconciliation to build a more inclusive, connected Canada. I congratulate Sixty North Unity and Northwestel on this visionary partnership to advance economic reconciliation through Indigenous ownership of critical telecommunications infrastructure in their communities. For Bell, it has been an honour to play a role in connecting and investing in communities across the North for the past 36 years, and we look forward to a strong and long-lasting continued partnership with Northwestel.”

– Mirko Bibic, President and CEO, BCE Inc. and Bell Canada

About Sixty North Unity
Sixty North Unity is a consortium of Indigenous organizations from the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut with a mission to enhance telecommunication services for northern communities. Sixty North Unity will acquire Northwestel through a new legal entity formed to represent interests of Indigenous Canadians across the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The impact of this acquisition will be felt by northern Indigenous communities for generations to come, creating more opportunities for investment and ownership in infrastructure and communications projects while also generating more short and long-term job opportunities.

About Northwestel
Northwestel is the largest telecommunications provider in Canada’s north, serving 97 communities across the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, British Columbia, and Alberta. In 2020, Northwestel launched a three-year Every Community plan to significantly improve broadband services for northern residents, governments and businesses using the latest fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technologies. Northwestel is a subsidiary of Bell and provides service on the traditional territories of Indigenous peoples across Canada’s North. Find out more at nwtel.ca (opens in new window) .

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Unifor Expertech members ratify new collective agreements

A group photo indoors people with a fist in the air.

June 6, 2024

 

MONTREAL/TORONTO– Unifor members employed by Expertech, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Canada Enterprises Inc., ratified new collective agreements following several weeks of voting in Quebec and Ontario.  The new agreements cover approximately 730 members who work in clerical and technical capacities.

“In a difficult round of negotiations and in very challenging times, our bargaining committee has shown incredible commitment and perseverance,’ said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

The 4-year agreements are backdated to December 1, 2023 and will be in effect until November30, 2027.

“We are proud of the determination of our Expertech members who have stood strong throughout this entire bargaining process,” said Unifor Quebec Director Daniel Cloutier.

About Unifor

Unifor is the largest private sector union in Quebec and Canada, representing more than 320,000 members in all sectors of the economy. Unifor fights for the rights of all workers. It also fights for equality and social justice at home and abroad and aspires to bring about progressive change for a better future. In Quebec, Unifor represents nearly 55,000 members and is affiliated to Quebec’s largest central labour body, the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ).

Bell and Mila join forces to drive AI innovation in the telecommunications sector

Source: https://www.bce.ca/news-and-media

  • Three-year partnership supports the development of cutting-edge AI solutions, enhancing customer experience and optimizing business operations

MONTRÉAL, June 13, 2024 /CNW/ – Mila and Bell are pleased to announce a new partnership to develop cutting-edge AI solutions. This collaboration is driven by a shared vision to enhance customer experience, optimize business operations and cultivate a vibrant AI ecosystem within Québec and across Canada.

In line with Bell’s significant investments in AI, this partnership reinforces Bell’s transformation as a technology services leader, harnessing Mila’s groundbreaking research to drive transformative improvements across Bell’s operations. From data analysis and operational efficiency to internet-based applications, Mila’s expertise will accelerate advancements that will enhance the customer experience.

This announcement builds on the 18-month collaborative project (opens in new window)  Mila and Bell entered into earlier this year to apply deep learning neural network algorithms to Bell’s environment. This technique leverages the transformative power of AI deep learning to teach computers how to process information in a manner inspired by the human brain.

 

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