Conservative motion, backed by NDP, produced $40M in regulatory relief for Bell

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By Mickey Djuric, The Canadian Press

CityNews Everywhere

Conservative and NDP MPs backed a 2022 amendment to the Online Streaming Act, introduced by Tory MP John Nater, pictured, and opposed by the governing Liberals, that allowed Canada’s private broadcasters to save $120 million a year in regulatory fees. But the Conservatives are now blaming the Liberals for last week’s job cuts at BCE Inc. and urging them to claw back some of the federal relief. Nater rises to respond to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 7, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is rejecting the idea that his party played a role in granting $40 million in regulatory relief to Bell Media.

Conservative and NDP MPs backed a 2022 amendment to the Online Streaming Act, opposed by the governing Liberals, that allowed Canada’s private broadcasters to save about $120 million a year in regulatory fees.

Bell’s share of those savings was $40 million — the precise total of annual operating losses the broadcaster’s parent, BCE Inc., cited when it slashed 4,800 jobs last week.

But Poilievre is now blaming Justin Trudeau for those cuts, and has called on the prime minister to claw back some of his government’s federal grants to media companies.

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