Hundreds of workers took part in a rally on Wednesday on Alexandre-DeSève St. between de Maisonneuve Blvd. and Sainte-Catherine St. in Montreal, right in the heart of the district where a large number of Montreal media companies are located. Participants included employees of Radio-Canada, TVA, Astral Media, RDS and Videotron along with political representatives. They came together to declare loud and clear that they will not back down and that everything has to be done to save this sector that is crucial to our democracy.

“We’re currently going through some very tough times and are witnessing a continuous decline in media and cultural institutions in Quebec. Following announcements of 600 job cuts at CBC/Radio-Canada, the layoff of 450 workers with Groupe TVA and staff reductions in various press rooms, it goes without saying that we’re in the throes of a media crisis more than we ever have. However, solutions do exist. Politicians must take some concrete actions to avoid our media outlets from being “Americanized” in a few years,” said Carl Beaudoin, President of CUPE 687.

The provincial and federal governments have come up with some innovative solutions to assist newsrooms of some newspapers. Several have been turned into cooperatives and are still operating today.

“Some solutions can be implemented to support the electronic media, for example, through adequate CRTC regulations. Various levels of government will have to get involved, because the stakes are far too high,” said CUPE union representative Steve Bargoné.