CEP to Harper - Say NO to foreign ownership of BCE

    OTTAWA, March 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's largest union of telephone and
media workers is opposed to the sale of Bell Canada Enterprises to foreign
investors and will take "any and all" steps necessary to block it.
    Dave Coles, President of the 150,000 member Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers Union of Canada, termed the potential takeover of BCE by American
interests "a direct threat to thousands of jobs, to Canadian economic
sovereignty and to our cultural heritage.
    "BCE owns the largest phone company in the country and it is also one of
the major players in print and broadcast media. Canadian legislation limits
the amount of foreign ownership in these sectors and this takeover of BCE
threatens to violate the intentions of those restrictions.
    "I think Prime Minister Harper should send an unequivocal message to the
investment community that he will not allow foreign interests to take control
of these key economic and cultural development industries," Mr. Coles said.
    CEP Media Vice-President Peter Murdoch echoed those sentiments and added:
"Our communications and broadcasting systems are at the very heart of our
national security. If the Prime Minister is prepared to sell these essential
industries to foreign interests, his comments on other security issues become
empty political posturing."
    The reality is that technological convergence and cross ownership between
telephone and media companies has created one single industry, says the CEP.
If foreigners are allowed to take over one part (telephones), they also gain
control of the other (broadcasting).

For further information:

For further information: Dave Coles, (613) 230-5200, ext. 266; Peter
Murdoch, (613) 230-5200 ext. 249.

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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