The Liberals have done it! They’ve introduced Bill C-11 to modernize the Broadcasting Act. Unifor is ready for the bill’s move to committee where we will be asking for a specific amendment to mandate the CRTC to fund local news. Click here for more information and Unifor’s position on C-11. And to send a message to have all levels of government support our amendment fill out the form below.
A Platform Bill, to compensate publishers for online content, is in the works and will likely be based on the ‘Australian Model’ Click here for Unifor’s position on the upcoming Platform Bill.
Local news is critical to how we learn what is happening in our community; from local politics to new development, sports, entertainment, crime, environmental concerns, health warnings, traffic and education.
News coverage is expensive. Advertising revenue once paid 80 to 90% of the cost of local news. But the money has been drained out of Canada by Google and Facebook. The remaining online ad revenue is cheap: a windfall for ad buyers, but bad for news outlets. The result is shrinking news coverage or closures of news outlets.
Here’s how to make it better:
The web giants Facebook and Google must be part of the solution, not just the problem. The federal government should take the advice of its own expert committee and require this Silicon Valley monopoly to contribute to a Canadian Journalism Fund that will pay journalists to hold the powerful to account.Australia and France have already moved ahead on this.
Labour tax credits for journalists; give tax credits to readers for online subscriptions; and allow non-profit news outlets to issue tax receipts to donors.This is the media rescue package passed in the 2019 Federal Budget for written journalism. The assistance should be extended to video news.
Update tax laws to “close the loophole” that allows Canadian advertisers seeking domestic audiences to write off the expense of placing ads in American digital media like the nytimes.com, Google or Facebook. Bring those ad dollars home for Canadian websites.
Foreign online media companies — Amazon, Apple, Netflix, DAZN, Disney Plus, etc.— must spend 30% of their Canadian revenues producing Canadian news, sports or entertainment OR contribute 5% of their revenues to the Canada Media Fund (CMF) and the Independent Local News Fund (ILNF). The CRTC already requires our Canadian media companies to do this.