Bell Canada pauses 5G launch plan

Bell Canada put a commercial 5G launch on hold due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, but stood by capex allocated for the next-generation network despite declines in earnings during Q1.

During an earnings call, CEO Mirko Bibic said Bell Canada is “ready with our initial 5G network, but frankly we don’t think that it’s the right time right now to officially launch it”, with customers unlikely to be “paying attention” at this time.

He noted the Samsung Galaxy S20 was among several 5G devices lined up, and the operator would provide an update on a revised launch plan once the economy begins to reopen following lockdowns.

It withdrew its 2020 guidance due to the uncertainty caused by the outbreak, but Bibic and CFO Glen LeBlanc said plans to spend between CAD4 billion ($2.8 billion) and CAD4.1 billion on 5G upgrades and deployment of new fixed assets over the course of the year stood.

“This is not a time to pull back capital spending on critical network infrastructure. The country is depending on us,” Bibic said.

The operator named Nokia as a 5G equipment vendor in February.

Profit fell 7.3 per cent year-on-year to CAD733 million, with revenue of CAD5.68 billion down from CAD5.73 billion.

Wireless revenue was down 2 per cent to CAD2.03 billion, with service turnover flat at CAD1.54 billion and equipment 9.1 per cent lower at CAD488 million.

It added 19,595 mobile subscribers compared with 38,282 in Q1 2019.

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National Nursing Week

nurse poster (1)

National Nursing Week

The week of May 11-17 2020 is the annual week dedicated to showing appreciation for our nurses and the nursing profession. This years theme is “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to health”. Developed by the International council of nurses (ICN), the theme is meant to illustrate how central the profession is in responding to the many world health challenges. ICN believes that Nurses work tirelessly to provide care and their contribution to the health of people globally makes them central to the delivery of health care.

National Nursing day is May 12th 2020 and is also separately acknowledged. It follows after the birthday of Florence Nightingale. Florence, like the italian city in which she was born and named after is known as the founder of modern nursing and the nurse that helped project proper medical care policies in the 19/20th century. She adopted the title “The lady with the lamp” as she cared for the british soldiers wounded during the Crimean war during the night hours. This May 12th will mark the 200th anniversary of Nightingales birth date.

“National Nursing Week is a great opportunity to recognize the leadership role of all regulated nurses in Canada.” CNA president Claire Betker

Authored By Theresa Phouipouy on behalf of the Local 1996-O Equity Committee.
In Solidarity,
1996-O Equity Committee
1996-O Executive

Deadline extended for Unifor post-secondary education scholarships


Each year, Unifor awards 28 entrance scholarships valued at $2,000 each to assist members with the prohibitively high costs of post-secondary education for working-class families.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Unifor has extended the scholarship application deadline to June 15.

Unifor members in good standing who have children starting their post-secondary education in September 2020 are encouraged to complete an application. This program is available to any Unifor members with a full-time student entering their first year at a Canadian public university, community college, technological institute, or trade school this coming fall.

Please consult the program’s instructions and eligibility criteria before completing an application.

Unifor members may apply here.

Children of Unifor members may apply here.

For Unifor members who are residents of Quebec please complete the application here.

All applicants will be contacted by July 10 with the results of their submission. Questions about the application process can be submitted to

BCE reports first quarter 2020 results

This news release contains forward-looking statements. For a description of the related risk factors and assumptions, please see the section entitled “Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” later in this news release.

  • Q1 results and COVID-19 response underscore BCE’s financial strength and leading broadband wireline, wireless and broadcast networks
  • BCE adjusted EBITDA up 1.4% on solid year-over-year growth of 4.0% at Bell Wireless and 0.5% at Bell Wireline, driving $1,451 million of cash flows from operating activities and free cash flow of $627 million
  • 45,042 total wireless, retail Internet and IPTV net customer additions
  • Bell Media results impacted by industry-wide decline in advertising due to COVID-19
  • Net earnings of $733 million with net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $680 million, or $0.75 per common share; adjusted net earnings of $720 million generated adjusted EPS of $0.80
  • Withdrawing 2020 financial guidance due to uncertainty regarding duration and impacts of COVID-19
  • Significant financial flexibility to manage through COVID-19 with $3.2 billion of liquidity at end of Q1 and substantial free cash flow generation for planned 2020 capital spending and BCE’s common share dividend payments
  • Common share dividend of $0.8325 declared for Q2, up 5% over last year

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Ontario Online Day of Action to fix long-term care gets huge support


Unifor teamed up with the Ontario Health Coalition and many other unions and advocacy groups to send a loud message to Doug Ford: the time to fix long-term care is now!

“Hundreds of Unifor members, locals and leaders participated in the Day of Action, showing just how committed this union is to fixing long-term care,” said Jerry Dias, National President. “It took a pandemic for government to see the enormous flaws in the current system our union has been fighting to fix for many years, including low pay leading to chronic under-staffing, and a lack of minimum standard hours for resident care which, if implemented, would lead to a manageable patient to staff ratio.”

The online action had individuals contribute selfies while holding a poster of demands to Premier Ford. More than a thousand submissions were made on Facebook and Twitter under the hashtag #FixLTCFord.

“It’s encouraging to see the support from across Ontario for better working conditions and better care standards for seniors and residents,” said Katha Fortier, Assistant to the National President. “Premier Ford has publicly committed to fix long-term care and we intend to hold him to that promise.”

Submissions from supporters can be seen on the Ontario Health Coalition Facebook page.

Will you support better care, safer work and fair pay in long-term care? Sign the Unifor petition here to demand change: