The Conseil provincial du secteur des communications (CPSC-CUPE) welcomed measures announced today by Finance Minister Morneau in support of Canadian journalism. The Council acknowledged the federal government has made several positive steps, but the scope of these measures has yet to be defined, and several questions remain.  

“The refundable credit for labour costs relating to the production of original news content is perhaps the most remarkable measure announced today. However, the issue of eligibility criteria is very sensitive. How will it be possible to preserve and strengthen the independence of newsrooms while shielding them from the potential influence of donors, advertisers and owners?” asked Alain Caron, the president of the Council.

In addition, the Council is issuing an appeal to ensure that the entire media sector, including union organizations, is consulted on the formation of a committee of experts that will review the tax credit eligibility requirements and the definition of professional journalism.

“Moreover, if the measures announced today are to have any meaning, major progress will have to be made on another two fronts: regulations and tax fairness. The federal government still has its work cut out for it in order for our media companies to keep pace with the digital giants out there. When it comes to the taxation of companies like Netflix, Google, and Facebook, we’ve been left completely out in the cold,” said Alain Caron.