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Groupe CH, parent company for the Canadiens, cuts more jobs

Canadiens owner/president Geoff Molson has now made two rounds of job cuts since the COVID-19 pandemic halted the NHL season on March 12.
Canadiens owner/president Geoff Molson has now made two rounds of job cuts since the COVID-19 pandemic halted the NHL season on March 12.

Hockey and concerts may be coming back later this year, but it won’t be soon enough to save some jobs at Groupe CH, the parent company for the Canadiens and the Evenko entertainment company.

Groupe CH instituted another round of layoffs on Tuesday and some of the cuts will be permanent. These are the second set of cuts by the company since the COVID-19 pandemic halted the NHL season on March 12. That was followed by the cancellation of concerts, music festivals and other cultural events until at least Aug. 31.

The Canadiens announced that Dominick Saillant and François Marchand, who were part of the communications department, were leaving the club immediately because of restructuring as a result of the pandemic. Saillant was the senior director of hockey communications, while Marchand was a communications manager.

Paul Wilson, the Canadiens’ senior vice-president (public affairs and communication) said in an email that in accordance with the team’s internal policies, the club does not intend to comment on any other decisions relating to their human resources.

In March, the company laid off 60 per cent of its work force. That blow was eased with the announcement of employment insurance benefits for employees and a $6-million assistance fund.

The latest layoffs come four days after the company petitioned the Quebec government for relief. The Canadiens asked for an action plan to respond to the economic consequences of COVID-19. It asked the government to open the Bell Sports Complex for training in accordance with Phase 2 of the NHL’s Return To Play plan.

L’Équipe Spectra, which is part of Grope CH, has also approached the government looking for a subsidy to cover the expenses incurred before the cancellation of tours and shows because of government regulations.

phickey@montrealgazette.com

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