The folks on strike in our newsroom undoubtedly see me as the enemy, and I would like to say that I am taking the stand as the last line of defence for Canadian journalism. Given the changes in our landscape, we cannot afford to sign contracts we can't live up to.
We've been very lucky at The Chronicle Herald. There is a shortage of employment for journalists in the country, and we've been able to hire great young, talented journalists to fill the void. Nobody wants to bring our journalists back more than I do, but there are certain financial agreements that I can't enter into, with the uncertainty.
Believe me when I tell you that our newsroom at 120-strong is much better than a newsroom at 30, but 30 is all we can afford today. Also, the changes that are happening in the landscape that I tried to describe, in what was supposed to be a 10-minute presentation.... I think I would have addressed more journalistic issues in that than in the five-minute presentation that I had to edit on the fly, and without an editor I don't know that I did it justice.
I need to assure you that we are working hard to end this strike, but we are a business without any form of outside funding. We're a family-owned business and cannot rely on and go to the market for more money. That's the nature of it; we can't sign an agreement.
I'd love to bring people back. I thought I had a deal on November 4, to update you completely. We had worked for three weeks and we thought we had a deal, but it went sideways. We're working hard behind the scenes to try to end it.