Update 18/11/2022 2:39pm ET: Bell’s Let’s Talk Day will not lose support from the federal government.
A source familiar with the matter told MobileSyrup that the Treasury Board made the decision not to renew support, as reported by news outlets, including MobileSyrup. However, Minister Mona Fortier, the president of the Treasury Board, was unaware of the decision.
The government signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the charity every year, and Fortier is directing the department to sign one again this year to show support.
The source did not know why the department issued its original decision not to renew support.
“A decision was made at the departmental level not to renew the government’s current yearly Memorandum of Understanding with Bell for the Let’s Talk day. Minister Fortier has directed her officials to establish an updated agreement with Bell in support of this day’s vital goal of raising awareness and talking about mental health,” the Treasury Board of Canada told MobileSyrup.
The original can be found below:
Bell’s Let’s Talk charity is losing support from the federal government.
The annual mental health awareness initiative included talks and messages from various federal leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, since 2018.
According to CityNews, the collaboration is no more.
“Since the beginning of this collaboration, approaches to mental health and employee well-being have evolved within the federal public service, and there are now well-established government-wide and department-specific structures, forums, events, and activities supporting important conversations on mental health,” Monica Granados, Press Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, told the news outlet.
Granados says the government will focus on “public service-driven activities,” and the collaboration didn’t cost either party anything.
The mental health awareness campaign saw Bell donate five cents to a mental health initiative every time social media users shared the #BellLetsTalk hashtag.
Bell celebrated a “successful” campaign in 2022, recording 47 million interactions online.
But the irony of the campaign is hard to ignore, given the way Bell treats its employees. In perhaps the most widely reported example, Bell didn’t renew Lisa LaFlamme’s contract for her former role as CTV National News anchor. Reports indicate LaFlamme had various disagreements with the executive who made the decision.
It’s unclear if the federal government’s stance to end support has anything to do with LaFlamme’s dismissal or the general treatment of Bell’s employees.