February 2, 2021
TORONTO – Unifor is condemning a round of cuts being made to CTV newsrooms across much of Bell Media this week, saying the layoffs will cost the network many valued media workers just when their communities need them most.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Canadians have seen how important a strong media sector is to their continued health and safety,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
“These cuts go against the assurances made by the broadcasters last summer to the CRTC to stand by local news.”
Last summer, Canada’s major broadcasters asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for relief from Canadian content rules, saying that local news gathering is sacred.
“Despite their commitment to save local news, they’re not protecting newsrooms,” Dias said.
The cuts announced so far include about 100 Unifor members in Toronto, plus more outside Toronto, affecting all station operations, including news gathering. Bell Media also laid off all staff in the newsroom of Montreal radio station CJAD.
“Our democracy, our right to be informed and to push back against the tide of false information relies on a strong media sector,” said Unifor Media Director Howard Law.
“Bell Media had said that news gathering is sacred, but that doesn’t appear to be the case when cuts are made in news gathering.”
Unifor continues to monitor the situation and to work with affected locals to assist our members.