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Jay Forbes to step down as CEO of Aliant Inc.

-  Stephen Wetmore Appointed President and CEO of proposed Bell Aliant
       Regional Communications Income Fund

    SAINT JOHN, NB, and MONTREAL, QC,April 17 2006 --- 
Jay Forbes, President
and CEO of Aliant Inc., today announced that he will be leaving the Company
effective July 31st, by which time all (or substantially all) of the necessary
regulatory approvals are anticipated to have been received for the creation of
the new Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund as announced on
March 7th(*) of this year.
    Stephen Wetmore, currently Group President - Corporate Performance and
National Markets, Bell Canada will assume responsibility as President and CEO
of the proposed Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund.
    "Together with BCE, we have created one of North America's largest
regional wireline service providers, and Canada's largest business trust. In
considering the transformation to a new organization, as well as my own
aspirations, this seemed to be a natural point to consider new career
opportunities," said Mr. Forbes.
    He continued, "I am proud of what we, as an organization, have been able
to achieve over the past five years. Aliant enjoys an abundance of talent and
it has been my sincere pleasure to have led our employees in the service of
our customers."
    Aliant Chair, Charles White, said, "Jay has made a tremendous
contribution to Aliant, delivering exceptional results for the organization in
areas of financial performance, customer focus, employee engagement and
shareholder value. He has built a very strong and capable management team at
Aliant, who will no doubt make significant contributions to the building of
the new organization. We have benefited from Jay's leadership, professionalism
and expertise, and we wish him nothing but success in his future endeavours."
    "Stephen is a very experienced executive with a thorough understanding of
both Aliant and Bell. I am delighted he has accepted to take on this
strategically important new assignment," said Michael Sabia, President and CEO
of BCE. "Over the years, he has established a very strong track record in all
that he has done. We have every confidence he will make a major contribution
to the success of the new Income Fund."

    Jay Forbes - background
    Mr. Forbes, 45, has led the organization since his appointment as
President and Chief Executive Officer in March 2002. Mr. Forbes joined Aliant
as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in February 2001 from
his role as Executive Vice President, Corporate Resources and Chief Financial
Officer of Oxford Properties Group Inc. Prior to this he was Chief Financial
Officer and Senior Vice President of Emera Inc. Atlantic Business Magazine
featured Jay Forbes as one of Atlantic Canada's Top 50 CEOs for three
consecutive years. He was recognized as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40(TM) in
1999, and in 2005, Jay Forbes was chosen by his Top 40 peers as one of the
"Best of the Best" in Outstanding Corporate Achievement. His contribution to
his profession and community was also recognized when in 2005 he became a
Fellow with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia. He is Chair
of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, a member of the Conference Board
of Canada and a member of the Board of Governors of Dalhousie University.

    Stephen Wetmore - background
    Before joining Bell in March 2002, Mr. Wetmore held several executive
positions, including President and CEO of Aliant Inc, and President and CEO of
NewTel Enterprises, from February 1998 until the formation of Aliant in April
1999. Mr. Wetmore also served as president of Air Atlantic and as managing
director with Scotia Holdings PLC in London, England. Mr. Wetmore is a member
of the Board of Directors of Aliant, Stratos Global and Canadian Tire
Corporation. He is a past Chair of the Atlantic Provinces' Economic Council;
and a Director of CD Howe Institute and Dalhousie Business School.

    About Aliant(*)
    From its home base in Atlantic Canada, Aliant delivers a wide variety of
innovative and traditional communications services, including local and long
distance telephony, wireless, Internet, e-commerce, interactive multimedia,
data and managed network services, to more than two million consumers and over
80,000 enterprises. In addition to serving residential, small-to-medium sized
business and enterprise customers in its home market, Aliant also serves
business customers located in other parts of North America. Aliant complements
its industry-leading telecommunications business with strengths in information
technology solutions and knowledge-services applications. Aliant's
approximately 8,400 employees build on its 100-plus year history by
collaborating to deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice, and
convenience. Aliant has a market capitalization of approximately $3.7 billion.

    (*)On March 7, 2006, Aliant and BCE Inc. announced the creation of one of
    the largest regional telecommunications service providers in North
    America. The organizations will combine Bell Canada's wireline operations
    in its regional territories in Ontario and Quebec with Aliant's wireline
    operations and Bell's 63.4 per cent interest in the Bell Nordiq Income
    Fund to form the Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund. The new
    trust, which will have 3.4 million local access lines and over 400,000
    high-speed Internet subscribers in the Atlantic Provinces, Ontario and
    Quebec, will be headquartered in Atlantic Canada. As part of the
    transaction, Bell will acquire Aliant Mobility and Aliant's DownEast
    Communications retail outlets. The transaction, which is expected to be
    completed in the third quarter of 2006, is subject to several closing
    conditions, including certain shareholder, court and regulatory
    approvals. For more information please visit

    About BCE Inc.
    BCE is Canada's largest communications company. Through its 28 million
customer connections, BCE provides the most comprehensive and innovative suite
of communication services to residential and business customers in Canada.
Under the Bell brand, the Company's services include local, long distance and
wireless phone services, high-speed and wireless Internet access, IP-broadband
services, information and communications technology services (or value-added
services) and direct-to-home satellite and VDSL television services. Other BCE
businesses include Canada's premier media company, Bell Globemedia, and
Telesat Canada, a pioneer and world leader in satellite operations and systems
management. BCE shares are listed in Canada, the United States and Europe.
    %SEDAR: 00012285EF

For further information: Kelly Gallant, Aliant Communications & Public
Affairs, (902) 487-4642 or 1-866-762-6540,;
Mohammed Nakhooda, BCE Media Relations, (416) 735-1690,;
Archived images on this organization are searchable through CNW Photo Archive
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accredited members of
the media.

SOURCE Corporate

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