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Breaking News: Bell CEO Called to Ottawa for Talks on Job Cuts in Telecommunications Industry • iPhones Canada Update

Bell CEO Summoned to Parliament to Discuss Job Cuts

Members of Parliament have taken a significant step by issuing a summons to Mirko Bibic, the CEO of Bell, demanding his in-person attendance to discuss the telecom’s decision to cut thousands of jobs nationwide.

Initially invited to testify before the Canadian Heritage committee on two separate occasions—February 29 and March 19—Bibic and a few other executives were unable to attend, say MPs.

The decision to summon Bibic’s testimony came during a private committee meeting last week, setting April 11 as the date for his appearance. This move follows the procedure that allows a committee to summon a witness if they decline an initial invitation, reports the Globe and Mail.

The layoffs, described by NDP Niki Ashton as Bell’s “largest layoff in 30 years,” have sparked controversy and demand for explanations from the company’s leadership. “Bell’s parent company BCE Inc. enacted its largest layoff in 30 years and haven’t even bothered showing up to explain to Canadians why,” Ashton stated, expressing frustration over the executives’ failure to attend previous committee meetings.

The circumstances surrounding the summons are marked by claims of prior commitments and scheduling conflicts, with a spokesperson for Bibic saying that the CEO had agreed to a March appearance before it was postponed by the committee’s clerk, who has yet to confirm this detail.

Ashton’s March 19 letter to Bibic voiced concerns over repeated requests to postpone the committee appearance. Highlighting the urgency and importance of the matter, Ashton remarked, “Perhaps if any of the 4,800 employees you fired still had their job, you’d have less on your plate.”

The job cuts announced by Bell in February, leading to a reduction of 4,800 jobs, including the termination of many TV newscasts and the sale of 45 out of 103 radio stations, have drawn criticism and calls for accountability.

Bell blamed the federal government and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for delayed relief measures to media companies in distress. They said it was the federal government’s decisions that resulted in these job cuts.

“The CEO will appear before the committee in April and is looking forward to the discussion,” said Bibic’s spokesperson. Literally, the government is saying, “Bell, let’s talk.”

It’s unclear how the federal government and MPs can force Bell’s hand to reverse its decision to cut thousands of jobs. But it sure does put on a good show to make it appear government really cares for people who lose their jobs.

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