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Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Bell Aliant recognized by DND as most supportive employer in Canada

Employees encouraged to provide valuable public service while continuing to fulfill civilian roles

ST. JOHN’S, NL - When members of Canada’s Reserve Forces are called into action, Bell Aliant stands behind them:  The regional communications provider, including its information technology (IT) division xwave, has been recognized by the Department of National Defence as the Most Supportive Employer in Canada. Bell Aliant was selected from among 10 provincial award-winners following its receipt of Most Supportive Employer for Newfoundland and Labrador. These were among 17 awards handed out by the Canadian Forces Liaison Council (CFLC) at a recent ceremony at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.

“The people of Bell Aliant have played an enormous part in supporting our Canadian military,” said Frank Fagan, Chief Operating Officer, Bell Aliant; Mr. Fagan attended the ceremony in Ottawa and accepted the awards on the organization’s behalf. “We are pleased and proud to support them as Reservists and, in so doing, contribute to their efforts. Moreover, we recognize that for some of these employees, their military service is intrinsically connected with their chosen field of expertise:  What they do isn’t merely a job; it’s a vocation. This shows in the quality of their work.”

For example, Brian Lypps, a Captain in the Canadian Army Reserves, is also an Engineering Manager with xwave’s Defence, Security and Aerospace practice. He oversees the engineering management of C4ISR systems (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) for all of xwave’s Army, Navy and Air Force programs in the Ottawa area.

Bell Aliant was nominated for the Most Supportive Employer Award by Peter Sinnott, a Warrant Officer with the Communications Reserves and an Inventory Coordinator with Bell Aliant in St. John’s. As the company’s only Inventory Coordinator in the province, Peter was to play a pivotal role in a PC LifeCycle project that would see the replacement of thousands of computers across Atlantic Canada. To enable him to attend a Leadership Qualification course, Bell Aliant granted him a five-week leave of absence. His Team Leader ensured his project duties were looked after while he was away.

“There are so many people, here in Canada and overseas, who are indebted to the selflessness and sense of duty shown by our Reservists,” said John Craig Eaton, National Chair of the CFLC. “Bell Aliant is to be commended for the exceptional support it has shown its Reservists, and its appreciation of the vital public service they provide.”

Members of the Reserve Forces provide both part-time and full-time service. Typically they work evenings and weekends but, in the event of an emergency, may be required to temporarily vacate their civilian posts to help out where needed. They have, for example, participated in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in the Middle East and Africa. They’ve also volunteered their help during the flooding in Manitoba, after the Swissair crash in Nova Scotia, and during the Ottawa ice storm. Only through the support of their employers are they able to continue these efforts while maintaining their civilian jobs.

Bell Aliant has in place a formal leave-of-absence policy for Reservists that, depending on factors such as whether the leave involves training or active duty, can allow for a combination of paid and unpaid leave, with no break in company or pensionable service and the continuation of benefits for the employee’s family.

xwave has been a leading Canadian defence, security and aerospace contractor for more than 30 years, providing defence systems, shared data environments and simulation & training to the Government of Canada and to other public and private organizations around the globe. Projects include the life-cycle and mission-management systems for the 20-year Maritime Helicopter Program (MHP); an Air-to-Air Re-fuelling (AAR) mission management system for Airbus Deutschland GmbH; a knowledge portal for Defence and Research Development Canada; and a digital flight-data and cockpit voice recorder solution for Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation.  

About Bell Aliant
Bell Aliant (TSX: BA.UN) is one of North America’s largest regional communications providers. Through its operating entities it serves customers in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added business solutions. Through its xwave offices, Bell Aliant also provides IT professional services in Canada and the US. Bell Aliant’s 10,000 employees are committed to deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice and convenience. In Atlantic Canada, communications products and services are delivered to customers through the Aliant brand. More information can be found at bell.aliant.ca.

About xwave 
xwave, a division of Bell Aliant, is a full-service business-solutions provider that serves clients through systems integration, infrastructure services, and fulfillment. These areas offer clients a broad delivery capability: xwave plans, designs, builds and operates complete ICT solutions that meet business-process needs and are designed to deliver a measurable return on technology investments. With more than $355 million in revenues and 1,500 people, xwave is one of the largest business-solutions organizations in Canada, with locations in St. John’s, Halifax, Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Summerside, Ottawa, Toronto, New England, Florida and Colorado. More information can be found at www.xwave.com.

For further information, contact:
Karen Ewing
(877) 332-4605

Major Richard Gower
(613) 992-3284

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