Unifor applauds Ontario government direction of ad spends to Canadian journalism organizations

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TORONTO—Unifor supports the Ontario government’s announcement today that it will direct key provincial agencies to ensure at least 25% of their ad spends will go to Ontario publishers, a move that encourages saving local news.

“We all know that community, regional and national news publishers have been facing and struggling with declining ad sales,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

“This initiative will help giving Ontario publishers support to keep afloat. Unifor calls on the federal government, as well as other provinces, to follow Ontario’s lead on and commit to supporting Canadian news.”

Unifor has always maintained that Canada’s media sector requires a variety of sources of funding, and this is one important piece of that puzzle. The federal government has taken steps to provide relief and it’s encouraging to see Ontario step up to the plate, by putting tax dollars to work.

The Ontario Finance, Transportation and Tourism, Culture and Gaming ministries have directed the largest to four government agencies – the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), the Ontario Cannabis Store, Metrolinx and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) – to allocate a minimum of 25% of their annual advertising spend, which tends to be well over $100 million on marketing each year.

The ad buys must be directed to Ontario-based publishers, designated as Qualified Canadian Journalism Organizations by the Canada Revenue Agency.

This means the province expects this new initiative to flow over $25 million to Ontario-based publishers, which will help protect jobs and promote local content and culture.

“This is a step in the right direction,” said Unifor Ontario Regional Director Samia Hashi.  “It’s great to see the government supporting Canadian journalism and prioritizing local news and media workers in Ontario.”

The plan comes into effect by Sept. 3, 2024. The Ontario government said it will review this initiative on a quarterly basis.

Unifor represents more than 10,000 media workers, including 5,000 members in the broadcast and film industries.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 320,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor National Communications Representative: Jenny Yuen or (416) 938-6157.

Media Contact

Jenny Yuen

National Communications Representative