Monday, March 30, 2009

BCE continues its political ways, by applauding Flaherty's HST

Forget about Flaherty’s HST tax ( “The tax on everything”, including payments to Bell from its already gouged customers) and how it may benefit BCE. The better question for Ontario residents who are ill-effected by the HST to be asking of BCE, is how many of the 2,500 people that Bell fired at the sole directive of Ontario Teachers’ reside and (used to?) pay taxes in Ontario?

These Ontario layoffs at BCE at the direction of Ontario's own bloody pension fund were a direct result of Flaherty’s preventing BCE from becoming a tax maximizing income trust and arose because BCE was then the target of a foreign private equity led LBO. One thing has remained constant......BCE continues to be a political animal speaking in support of tax measures, like the HST, and working hand in glove with Jim Flaherty. To borrow an inane phrase from Eric Reguly....”they should be ignored”. Better yet, the whole record should be examined, since BCE’s Board, by pretending they wanted to convert to a trust, when in fact their ulterior motive was to kill the trust structure and frustrate Telus', were in fact, acting against the interests of their shareholders.

Furthermore, the board of BCE were acting counter to their fiduciary duty, which is to maximize shareholder value. BCE, of all companies should now that best, as “maximizing shareholder value” was the very case that BCE took to the Supreme Court, for the sole purpose of being allowed to oppress their bondholders. Too bad BCE’s actions in killing income trusts ended up causing them to destroy shareholder value, that was never recaptured under their preferred (albeit non-viable) alternative of an LBO. The net effect was that the Directors of BCE who approved the conversion of BCE to a trust, as a ruse to cause the overall trust market’s demise, were acting against the interests of their shareholders. Now they are back to their old ways of issuing press releases in support of government tax measures.

Why anyone would have phone, television, or internet service with Bell is beyond me? Isn’t being a phone company bad enough, without BCE becoming a surrogate tax collector, Conservative government sympathizer and backroom fixer on governments’ behalf?

Ontario tax harmonization will enable Bell to further accelerate service and network investment in the province

By: PR Newswire
Mar. 30, 2009 07:00 AM

MONTREAL, Quebec, March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Bell announced today that expected tax savings resulting from the Ontariogovernment's implementation of a single sales tax structure in 2010 mean Bell can accelerate its investment in the province next year - in addition to the$1.5 billion the company will spend in Ontario this year alone.

"BCE has already committed to invest approximately $3 billionacross Canada in 2009, and about $1.5 billion of that total will be spent in Ontario. Even in the midst of current economic conditions, we're making these multi-billion investments in our team, our broadband networks and our service operations in order to deliver a better Bell customer experience at every level," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell and BCE.

"As has been the experience in other provinces in which Bell operates, savings from a single sales tax structure will accelerate our investment in Ontario. Fewer dollars going toward taxes in 2010 mean more dollars that Bell will reinvest in our networks and service in the province next year," said Mr. Cope.

The harmonization of the PST and GST on July 1, 2010 will result in the elimination of sales tax on the network and other equipment Bell uses to deliver services to customers in the province. Considering other Ontario industries have long benefited from retail sales tax exemptions on equipment investments, harmonization is welcome recognition of the contribution communications companies like Bell make to the province's economy. Of BCE's 50,000 employees across Canada, approximately 24,000 work in Ontario.

Bell is focused on a clear new goal - to be recognized by customers as Canada's leading communications company - and is executing on 5 Strategic Imperatives in order to achieve it: Improve Customer Service, Accelerate Wireless, Leverage Wireline Momentum, Invest in Broadband Networks and Services, and Achieve a Competitive Cost Structure.

Bell has announced multiple service and network investment initiatives in recent months, including the rollout of a new next-generation wireless network; expanded high-speed fibre optic network capabilities; new service programs such as Same Day Next Day service, Express Install and Internet Full Install; and the purchase of 2,000 new Field Services vehicles.

On March 2, Bell announced it would acquire consumer electronics retailer The Source, adding more than 750 stores to Bell's national distribution network and approximately 3,000 employees to the Bell national team. The transaction is expected to close this summer.

Headquartered in Montreal, BCE (TSX, NYSE: BCE) is Canada's largest communications company, providing the most comprehensive and innovative suite of communication services to residential and business customers. Operating under the Bell and Bell Aliant brands, the Company's services include Bell Home phone local and long distance services, Bell Mobility and Solo Mobile wireless, high-speed Bell Internet, Bell TV direct-to-home satellite and VDSL television, IP-broadband services and information and communications technology (ICT) services. For corporate information on BCE, please visit . For Bell product and service information, please visit .


Dr Mike said...

Anything backed by BCE & Jim Flaherty has to be a dog with big sharp teeth ready to bite the collective ass of the little guy on the street.

Neither Jim Flaherty or the board at BCE give a flying fig for the rest of us who now have to suck it up & pay the tax share of the break given to poorly run outfits like BCE.

Smacks of a gov`t bail-out to me.

Can`t wait to see who is next , the wankers at Manulife maybe??

Dr Mike

Anonymous said...

Yeah it figures ...

Whatever this company can do to piss off customers and shareholders seems to be a theme.
Very much like these supposed new goals ... as a shareholder it looks like Michael Sabia is still in charge. The exact same things were in Bell's 2004/5 annual report. Nothing new about that goal - it has all been said before.