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Media Beat: January 08, 2020

By David Farrell

Race for cheap wireless rates would be 'really bad public policy': BCE CEO Bibic

The newly-minted chief executive officer of BCE Inc. says a race of cheap wireless rates in Canada would be bad for investment in the country.


“If our objective is to have the cheapest communications services in the world, or the G20, or the G8, I think that would be really bad public policy,” Mirko Bibic told BNN Bloomberg’s Amanda Lang during an interview Monday from Montreal on his first day in the new role.   

“We’re on the cusp here of a new era in communications, which is really going to power the Canadian economy writ large. So what you want is the highest quality networks if we want to be a productive economy, you want the most coverage possible across the country, you want to connect communities, and, of course, you want affordable services and value for dollar paid.”

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Bibic, who succeeds George Cope, previously served as a partner at Stikeman Elliott LLP. He joined BCE in March 2004 and was promoted to chief operating officer by October 2018.  BCE announced in June Bibic would be taking over for Cope upon his retirement this month.

Bibic’s comments on wireless rates comes as pressure builds among Canada’s largest telecommunications companies – Bell, Rogers, Telus – to offer more competitive wireless packages. — Bloomberg News

Media Central follows Now with the Georgia Straight acquisition

Longtime Vancouver alternative weekly The Georgia Straight has been sold to Media Central for $1.25M.

The deal is set to be completed by Feb. 28 and will see Media Central pay $750K in cash, along with $350K in common shares of the company. — Postmedia

Manitoba newspapers have long failed to pay recycling fees

The newspaper industry is proposing it pay back the recycling fees in the form of advertising in-kind to municipalities like Winnipeg, Brandon and other communities. The proposal was influenced by similar programs in provinces like Ontario, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Quebec. — Sam Thompson, Global News

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TSN and RDS secure long-term media rights with Hockey Canada

TSN, RDS, and Hockey Canada today announced a long-term media rights agreement that extends through the 2033-34 season, continuing their long-standing partnership that dates back to 1991. — TSN

CRTC publishes new CanCon certification guide

A certain percentage of content broadcast and financed by CRTC-licensed television broadcasters must be made by Canadians. Broadcasters can only count programs with Canadian certification towards meeting these requirements.

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Celine Dion

Celine Dion

Culture

Céline Dion Rumoured for Paris Olympics Comeback Performance

The Quebec superstar hasn't performed since before the announcement of her Stiff Person Syndrome diagnosis in 2022, but she could be singing at the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 26.

A Canadian icon may be making her return to the stage this week.

Céline Dion hasn't performed since before she publicly announced her diagnosis with Stiff Person Syndrome in December 2022, but the superstar reportedly planning a comeback performance at the Paris Olympics. Variety reports today (July 23) that Dion is rumoured to be singing during the Opening Ceremony this Friday, July 26.

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