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Trudeau Condemns Bell Media Layoffs as “Garbage Decision”


Trudeau ‘s over-the-top reaction to Bell firing all those workers stinks. He’s putting on a big show to distract from his own government messing up and hurting news in Canada.

The Prime Minister is protesting way too hard against Bell’s “garbage decision”, acting like their bosses are the bad guys while he fakes tears for the cameras.

But Trudeau’s dramatic act can’t hide the truth – his own screwed up policies set the stage for huge media layoffs.

Maybe Trudeau is making a huge fuss to take attention away from his government knowing in advance or even being involved in Bell gutting local newsrooms. Trudeau now says the damage is unacceptable, but where was he when his choices were slowly choking media companies?

The timing and style of his anger seems calculated for political gain. Canadians need to see through Trudeau’s latest performance and demand real action to stop news in this country dying off.

No more incompetence and sitting on his hands while our media slowly dies – the PM has to face the harsh truth that he let this crisis happen through his own failures.

Trudeau is pissed off for screwing up the media in Canada, calling the massive layoffs at Bell Media a ‘garbage decision.’

The recent announcement by Bell Media that it will be laying off hundreds of employees and cutting local television newscasts across Canada has sparked outrage across the country.

While Bell executives have pointed to financial pressures and the changing media landscape as reasons for the cuts, many believe the real culprit lies closer to Parliament Hill.

The Trudeau government’s misguided media policies have failed to support Canadian broadcasters and journalists, contributing to Bell’s decision to gut its news operations.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacted emotionally to the Bell layoffs. However, Trudeau’s crocodile tears are difficult to take seriously given his government’s dismal track record on media policy. Despite lofty rhetoric about upholding journalism, the Trudeau Liberals have repeatedly bungled policy efforts that were supposed to help media companies. The results now speak for themselves with historic job losses in newsrooms across Canada.

Trudeau’s policies have failed Canadian media on multiple fronts. Firstly, the government completely mishandled efforts to regulate tech giants like Facebook when crafting Bill C-18.

Bell Media specifically warned the parliamentary committee reviewing the bill that their main concern was competition from foreign streaming services. But Ministers Pablo Rodriguez and Pascale St. Onge took an overly aggressive approach in dealing with Facebook. As a result, Facebook chose to stop publishing news links in Canada altogether, the only country where they took such drastic action.

This decision blew a hole in the digital strategies of media companies across Canada. Smaller outlets relying on Facebook for traffic were especially hard hit.

Bell Media needed regulatory changes that enabled access to cheaper American programming so they could better compete with Netflix and other services. The government failed to deliver these changes in Bill C-18 or in the current Bill C-11 targeting online streaming.

Lofty rhetoric about preserving Canadian media meant nothing without tangible policy changes to fix real commercial problems.

At the same time as bungling efforts to properly regulate digital platforms, the Trudeau government has funneled tens of millions in advertising dollars to the very same foreign tech companies accused of undermining Canada’s media sector.

Over 70% of the federal government’s $67 million ad budget for 2022-23 went to digital ads, mainly with Google and Facebook. Just under $1 million was spent advertising with Canadian newspapers and magazines. The government’s ad spending priorities reveal their hypocrisy and naivete around supporting domestic media.

The recent Bell Media layoffs show the folly of Trudeau handing millions to big corporations with no accountability.

Despite being given $40 million in federal funds with no strings attached, Bell turned around and rewarded executives and shareholders while cutting nearly 5,000 jobs.

Bell’s CEO made $13.5 million last year and the President of Bell Media pocketed $4.8 million, highlighting where the money truly flows.

Trudeau’s corporate welfare policies clearly failed to protect Canadian workers. Government aid to companies must come with strict requirements to maintain employment levels and support local communities, not just enrich those at the top.

The Bell layoffs prove handing corporations blank checks doesn’t prevent working people from losing their livelihoods.

The Trudeau government also continues to heavily fund CBC with taxpayers’ money while taking no action to limit the public broadcaster’s appetite for Canadian advertising revenues.
CBC competes directly with private media for advertising dollars while also paying no taxes.

Many other countries like Britain have placed sensible limitations on public broadcasters to prevent unfair competition against private media. The Trudeau government has so far ignored this obvious policy fix that could aid struggling media outlets.

On the regulatory front, the Liberals have handed new powers to the CRTC that could potentially lead to harmful internet regulations. Content creators have warned these rules could cripple digital media innovation but the government plowed ahead anyway.

Meanwhile, decades-old CRTC regulations continue to burden traditional broadcasters with red tape written before the internet even existed. If Trudeau truly wanted to modernize rules for media companies, simplifying this outdated regulatory regime should have been the priority.

The failure of Bill C-18 to deliver promised revenues to media companies like Bell Media was likely the last straw leading to its sweeping layoffs. The Trudeau government touted C-18 as a means of forcing major tech platforms to compensate Canadian broadcasters and publications for using their news content. Initial projections estimated C-18 would provide hundreds of millions in new annual revenue to publishers and broadcasters. Bell Media reasonably expected tens of millions from these new tech transfers based on their market position.

Yet in reality, C-18 only secured a single $100 million payment from Google, a fraction of the original projections. Worse still, Bell and other broadcasters are limited to just 30% of that amount, capping their C-18 revenues at around $30 million total – a far cry from the nine figure sums originally pledged.

This massive overpromising and under delivery on C-18’s financial benefits to broadcasters like Bell Media undoubtedly factored heavily into their decision making on layoffs. The tech sector failure to materially compensate media companies through C-18 mirrored similar shortfalls in ad revenue sharing.

Twitch’s recent announcement that it is laying off over 500 employees also highlights the grim revenue realities facing media entities reliant on tech platforms. Amazon-owned Twitch had to ‘rightsize’ due to unsustainable business conditions, similar to Bell Media. Other tech titans like Unity, Xerox, Spotify, and Bolt have made similar job cuts at the end of 2023. The tech sector’s struggles further validate broadcasters’ concerns about overreliance on web platforms.

At his core, Trudeau wants to present himself as a champion of Canadian media. But his government’s actual track record on media policy is utterly abysmal. Bad policy decisions and confused priorities have defined the Trudeau legacy when it comes to the media sector. No amount of public outrage can paper over the real policy failures that have brought Canada’s media establishments to their knees.

Trudeau’s histrionic response to the Bell Media layoffs warrants further scrutiny. His dramatic outrage stands in stark contrast to his silence on recent job losses at other major media outlets like the CBC and Toronto Star. This inconsistency suggests the Prime Minister’s vocal indignation is a calculated political performance, not authentic concern.

Trudeau’s government was given advance notice of the layoffs, so his surprise rings hollow. Perhaps he hopes to use the Bell cuts as a scapegoat to divert public attention from his own policy failures on media issues. Or is Trudeau exploiting the layoffs to grandstand about corporate responsibility and labor rights ahead of the elections?

Trudeau’s Liberal government has repeatedly chosen to subsidize Canada’s state broadcaster and funnel ad money to Facebook instead of taking meaningful steps to allow private broadcasters to innovate and compete on a level playing field.

They have imposed unnecessary regulations on media companies already struggling to navigate a disrupted marketplace. And their high-profile attempts to force tech companies into financially supporting Canadian news have fallen disastrously short of expectations.

The Bell Media layoffs are simply the rotten fruit of years of Liberal media policy blunders. Trudeau’s attempts to channel public anger over the layoffs is laughable political theater. No one should be fooled by his soapbox speeches lamenting cuts to local news. His government’s actions contributed to undermining the very journalism he now claims to support.

This is a big problem. Trudeau’s bad decisions have pushed Canada’s news companies to the edge. He has to take real action now, or else our journalism will completely crash.

Turn off the money pipeline that lets the CBC balloon without limits. Rip down the piles of old rules choking media businesses. Use the government’s ad spending to help Canadian newspapers and stations, not Google and Facebook.

Trudeau’s caving to the web giants has been a total mess. Because of things like Bill C-18, Facebook took off from Canada, while our own news outlets face ruin. No more going soft on Big Tech while Canadian media dies off!

Canadians are fed up with Trudeau’s failures costing them vital reporting. Bell Media’s carnage is the latest bloody blow, as Trudeau sits idly by. How many more newsrooms need to be gutted before this government wakes up?

The time has come for Trudeau to take responsibility for the crisis his own bungling allowed to fester. No more shedding crocodile tears after Canadians have lost their livelihoods due to his inaction. Trudeau must aggressively champion domestic media before it’s too late.

If our Prime Minister lacks the competence or will to rescue Canada’s media, he should step aside for someone up to the task. Half-measures will no longer cut it. Without an historic overhaul, Trudeau’s legacy will be presiding over the destruction of journalism in this country. The media owners of Canada demand and deserve better.

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