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Support for local man's LaFlamme petition soars past six figures

North Bay's Miles MacMillan says if Lisa LaFlamme's firing was 'indeed motivated by sexism or ageism, it would be a grave injustice and the people responsible should be held accountable.'

North Bay's Miles MacMillan says he is "totally blown away," by the response to his online petition objecting to the way news anchor Lisa LaFlamme's ouster was handled last week by Bell Media's CTV.

The MacMillan-authored online petition Reinstate Lisa LaFlamme as Chief Anchor at CTV News was rapidly approaching 150,000 signatures garnered in one week, as of publication time on Tuesday. The petition has received widespread attention and has been mentioned in various national and regional news outlets. 

See related: Lisa LaFlamme out at CTV News as Omar Sachedina named chief news anchor

"When I started the petition, I really didn't know how much support it would receive," says MacMillan, "but I certainly didn't anticipate it getting the numbers it has so far and continues to get. It's a testament to how well-liked and respected Lisa LaFlamme is to so many."

On August 15, LaFlamme released a video statement saying she had been "blindsided" upon learning her contract would be ending with CTV National News and had kept the details under wraps for several weeks. Bell Media said in a statement Friday it "regrets" the way LaFlamme's departure was handled, as it "may have left viewers with the wrong impression." 

See also: LaFlamme opted not to say on-air goodbye before ouster: CTV memo

MacMillan says it was that video from LaFlamme that spurred him to start the petition.

"I was shocked to hear this news and saddened because I am a huge fan and I look forward to her newscast every weeknight and have for the past decade. This didn't sit right with me at all. How does a company sack their top newscaster, who has the top-rated national newscast in the country? She has a viewership of one million per broadcast, which I've read is twice the viewership of CBC's The National. 

"Many have suggested that their decision could possibly be based on sexism or ageism. The fact that Bell Media has yet to give a clear and convincing explanation for her firing, leads many to speculate that this could very well be true."

See: Letter to the editor — LaFlamme's ouster is evidence of 'old boys club' 

MacMillan says, "If her firing was indeed motivated by sexism or ageism, it would be a grave injustice and the people responsible should be held accountable."

According to a CP report, late last week Bell Media said it would launch a workplace review conducted by an independent party into the LaFlamme dismissal. Amid public conversations centred on sexism and ageism, Bell Media stated such allegations of discrimination are taken "very seriously." 

"This has become a driving force of the petition, along with the fact that so many Canadians just absolutely love and respect Lisa LaFlamme," MacMillan adds. "Her professionalism, sincerity, articulateness, as well as her caring personality and immaculate appearance, have all endeared her to millions of Canadians such as myself."

MacMillan's hope is to have LaFlamme reinstated as the Chief Anchor at CTV National News. "Also, if we find out that there was any impropriety involved with the decision-making of letting her go, the callous execs who made the decision be fired," he says.

Stu Campaigne

About the Author: Stu Campaigne

Stu Campaigne is a full-time news reporter for, focusing on local politics and sharing our community's compelling human interest stories.
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