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Canada’s largest media union welcomes help for local news

November 21, 2018 - 12:00 AM

November 21, 2018

TORONTO – The union representing 12,000 Canadian journalists and media workers welcomes Finance Minister Bill Mourneau’s announcement of $600 million in aid for financially struggling news organizations.

“The new labour tax credit for local journalism is what’s been needed to help save local news,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s National President.

In today’s Fall Economic Statement, it was revealed that news outlets that hire to expand local news coverage will be eligible for tax credits. Unifor is also relieved that the federal government will allow non-profit news organizations to apply for charitable status, and Canadians will receive a 15 per cent refund on all subscriptions to paid digital news sites.

“Mainstream journalism does the heavy lifting in our democracy and it is in crisis as advertising revenue is siphoned away by Google and Facebook,” said Dias.

Canadian newspapers, including their website operations, have lost about 40 per cent of their revenue since 2012 and more than 250 Canadian news outlets have closed in the last decade.

Dias praised the work of Unifor Locals in campaigning for these new federal measures over the last two years.

“Unifor media workers have been talking to Members of Parliament and it is refreshing to see that they got the message,” said Jake Moore, Unifor Media Chair.

Unifor also welcomes the new tax reforms, and write offs which will incentivize investment and job creation throughout the Canadian economy.

“By enabling businesses to immediately expense investments in machinery and equipment, there will be an added financial incentive to expand operations and create jobs and that is good news for our members,” said Dias.

For more information, please contact Unifor Director of Communications Natalie Clancy: Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or (416) 707-5794