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Demonstration in Rimouski against VAT cuts

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The demonstrators present in Rimouski believe that the cuts which have affected local media in recent years harm regional democracy.


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More than 80 people gathered Saturday morning in Rimouski to denounce the dismissal of three quarters of TVA Est employees du-Québec.

Remember that 23 employees out of a total of 29 at the TVA station in Rimouski will lose their jobs in February 2024.

Citizens and many elected officials responded to the call for solidarity launched by the union which represents employees of TVA Est-du-Québec.

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The demonstrators who denounced the cuts to TVA Est-du-Québec gathered at the Place des Anciens-Combattants.

The objective is to raise awareness among the population, because I think there was a lack of information on that front, explains Carl Beaudoin, provincial president of the TVA Employees Union.

He adds that these cuts will make it difficult to cover regional issues over such a vast territory.

To think that journalistic coverage will be done with six people, [including] two cameramen, is very worrying for the quality of information in the region, explains the representative.

The citizens present also wanted to offer their support to the employees who will be laid off.

I am very concerned about regional information. The regions, we have the right to have information, and there, we will be deprived, and the more we are going to cut, it [will have] the effect of putting us in a certain ignorance. Access to information is a right.

A quote from Solange Tremblay, citizen of Rimouski

For Jamal Kazi, another protester from Rimouski, news about the region covered in major centers risks distorting reality.

It is important to have a local and regional perspective on what is happening in the region and that it is not filtered, he maintains. It's not that journalists from Quebec and Montreal don't do a good job, but our perspective is important.

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Federal, provincial and municipal elected officials from Bas-Saint-Laurent gathered in Rimouski to denounce the cuts affecting TVA Est-du-Québec employees.

Nine elected officials from the region came to support this movement, including the Bloc member for Rimouski-Neigette–Témiscouata–Les Basques, Maxime Blanchet-Joncas, the provincial deputy for Matane-Matapédia, Pascal Bérubé, and the mayor of Rimouski, Guy Caron.

They deplore the erosion of regional media coverage caused by these cuts and call on the federal and provincial governments to intervene to support regional media.

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The mayor of Rimouski and ex-journalist Guy Caron participated in the demonstration on Saturday.

Information is an essential service for the region, it is a service which will allow people to know what is happening here and not just relying [on] news from outside.

A quote from Guy Caron, mayor of Rimouski

For Bloc member Maxime Blanchet-Joncas, these cuts to local media demonstrate the urgency for the federal government to get involved in the matter.

What we are asking of the federal government today is to have short-term financial support term to stop this hemorrhage, and then, second thing, what we are demanding from the Bloc Québécois is to have a general meeting, because the model currently does not work, the local media are incapable to compete with the web giants, concludes the elected official.

Recall that on November 2, Quebecor announced the layoff of 547 employees at within the TVA network throughout Quebec.

According to information from Mathieu Berger

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116