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Quebec Community Newspaper Association seeks government help

by Nelly Sérandour-Amar October 11, 2016
Quebec Community Newspaper Association seeks government help

The QCNA joins the Coalition pour la pérennité de la Presse d’information for the survival of local print news media

The Quebec Community Newspaper Association (QCNA) has recently joined the Coalition pour la pérennité de la presse d’information, to raise awareness on the importance of maintaining local print news media. To help them with this issue, they have called on the Quebec government to assist in the long-term survival of print news media in the province.

The Coalition are asking for a temporary five-year financial assistance plan from the Government of Quebec, for the province’s newspapers, it was stated in a press release on Sept. 28.

Included in the financial assistance plan is a refundable tax credit covering 40 per cent of the cost of news production, 50 per cent of investments in digital, an increase in the government budget for advertising placements and the abolition of the sales taxes (GST and TVQ) on newspapers sold. With the help from the government, it would cost the print newspapers less to do the transition to digital.

Richard Tardif, Executive Director of the QCNA, said “while the newspaper business is a difficult one right now, it’s logical as experienced newspaper people for us to be at the table with the Quebec government given the ongoing revision of its cultural policy.”

Over the last 37 years, the QCNA has represented Quebec’s independent English and bilingual community newspapers. QCNA joined the Coalition, which is made up of a variety of daily newspapers such as Le Devoir, Groupe Capitales Medias, Hebdos Quebec, media group TC Transcontinental and many more.

On top of the financial aid they are seeking from the government, the Coalition and QCNA are also looking into getting exempted from the payable contribution under the Environment Quality Act. The act requires newspapers to pay for municipal recycling services, which is something that the QCNA feels is damaging to newspapers. Tardif said that it is “forcing owners of newspapers serving small communities, to re-evaluate their budgets with few choices but to consider a decrease in qualified staff and less content.”

The government has still not responded to the Coalition’s demand. Tardif said it may take a few months to get an answer.

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