Journalists from across Canada showed support for staff at the Vancouver Sun and Province by sending wine and spirits in anticipation of 54 layoff notices.
CKNW reporter Liza Yuzda came up with the idea.
“My heart just went out to people who are going through a massive change in the same industry. I can’t change that, but I could do a little something to ease the pain,” Yuzda said. “I just wanted to do something to let people know we’re thinking of them and they’re not in a vacuum.”
Yuzda, who covers the Legislature in Victoria, was planning to send something on her own but then invited other journalists to join. Several pitched in, and the Tyee’s Ottawa correspondent Jeremy Nuttal arranged for delivery on Thursday.
CTV journalist Penny Daflos also contributed and said it felt good to send the package.
“We’ve all experienced layoffs, and it’s heartbreaking and difficult, but what they’re going through there, I don’t think we’ve seen anything like that in this city,” Daflos said. “We want them to know they’re loved, … and we just wanted to put a smile on their faces.”
Postmedia is issuing layoff notices for 54 people at the Vancouver Sun and the Province, starting Friday, March 24. The move comes on the heels of 38 voluntary buyouts in January. In all, only 128 people will remain at both papers. Unifor Local 2000 plans to fight the layoffs through legal arbitration at the Labour Relations Board. The Sun and the Province boasted more than 2,000 people in the 1990s, but staff have been reduced by more than 90 per cent over the past 25 years.
Journalists who contributed to the care package:
Liza Yuzda – CKNW
Jeremy Nuttall – The Tyee
Penny Daflos – CTV
Jon Woodward – CTV
Charmaine de Silva – CKNW
Nick Wells – CTV
Laura Baziuk – Black Press
David Ball – Metro
Province reporter Stephanie Ip tweeted out a video message of thanks from the newsroom.
— Stephanie Ip (@stephanie_ip) March 23, 2017
UPDATE: Vancouver Is Awesome sent beer, the Globe & Mail’s B.C. bureau sent donuts, and Global B.C. sent a bottle of tequila to the Vancouver Sun and Province.
More treats rolling in: Krista Rawlings from Mt. Royal Bagels sent bagels and Langara journalism students sent a bottle of gin and a card.