The big boss of Radio-Canada, Michel Bissonnette, apologized Thursday for spending almost the entire month of December in Florida despite the advice of Canadian health authorities.
Mr. Bissonnette, who has been senior vice-president of Radio-Canada since January 2017, was in this American state severely affected by the pandemic from December 2 to 27, a news first reported Thursday by the “National Post”.
“Insofar as it was strongly recommended that Canadians avoid stays abroad, I understand the reaction my stay elicited, I am sincerely sorry and I apologize to employees and citizens”, Mr. Bissonnette wrote in a statement relayed to the media.
He explains that he had to go to Miami at the beginning of December “to settle affairs” concerning the condo that he “has owned for several years”, adding that he had “not been there since the start of the pandemic.”
“I took the opportunity to telework for two weeks and take 10 days of vacation,” continues Mr. Bissonnette. During my stay, I did not go to any restaurant or business. When I returned to Montreal, I followed the public health instructions to the letter by quarantining myself for 14 days. ”
The Union of Workers of Radio-Canada (STTRC) said that “many members” of its organization “are angry”, adding that Michel Bissonnette lacked judgment and sensitivity in going to Florida in the midst of the crisis. sanitary. According to the STTRC, Mr. Bissonnette must provide more explanations.
“And that includes the employees, because he has been asking us, since April, to work and live in conditions that are quite specific,” said STTRC president Pierre Tousignant.
This trip was also denounced by the union representing the employees of CBC, the English branch of Radio-Canada.
“CBC / Radio-Canada policies strongly discourage personal travel to countries at risk during the pandemic. Whatever their reasons, senior executives who travel to sunny destinations on vacation instead of staying at home show a lack of judgment and respect for employees whom they should lead by example, ”said Kim Trynacity, president of the CBC chapter of the Canadian Media Guild, told the National Post.
Michel Bissonnette manages all of Radio-Canada’s French-language programming services. This includes general interest television, ARTV, EXPLORA, RDI, TOU.TV, the radio channels of the State corporation, as well as all other digital and mobile services.