An open letter signed by a long list of Canadian luminaries is taking aim at Bell Media’s abrupt dismissal of Lisa LaFlamme as anchor of the company’s flagship newscast.

In a two-page spread in today’s Globe and Mail, the missive signed by a who’s who of Canadian arts, business and politics — including Margaret Norrie McCain, Anne Murray and Jim Balsillie — says LaFlamme was a ratings leader for the company “until one thing changed: the colour of her hair.”

The letter to the board of directors and management of BCE and Bell Canada says the ousting of the award-winning TV news anchor in the prime of her career underscores the sexism and ageism women continue to face at work.

It says the “business decision” to dismiss LaFlamme has destroyed trust in Bell Media and questions how the company will “make things right.”

The letter comes a day after a Bell Media executive took a leave from his job amid the ongoing fallout from LaFlamme’s dismissal.

An internal Bell Media memo said Friday that vice-president of news Michael Melling would be taking leave effective immediately to spend time with family.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 27, 2022.
© The Canadian Press