Kim Covert remembers the “dead silence,” broken by muffled crying.

She and two dozen other copy editors were clumped around the large central table in Postmedia Network Inc.’s newswire office in Ottawa. The group, which gathered national and international news and copy edited it for use in Postmedia newspapers across the country, gaped at the company’s vice-president of editorial operations, Lou Clancy, as he announced Canadian Press was taking over their jobs. It was cheaper; they were fired.

“We all kind of looked at each other and thought, ‘What the fuck?’ because most of us hadn’t expected any such thing,” says Covert. “My first thought was, ‘Oh my God, my mortgage,’ and my stomach just fell.”

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