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Ottawa offers a respite to press rooms

Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press The increase in the tax credit is the only media aid measure announced in the statement from the Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland.

The Trudeau government has heard the cry from the heart of the country's newsrooms, while closures and job cuts have been increasing for years.

The federal fall economic statement provides for a temporary increase to 35% of the Canadian journalism labor tax credit, which is currently 25% — a request made by many industry players since years.

The annual ceiling on costs that can be claimed per eligible staff member will also increase from $55,000 to $85,000.

In other words, the federal government will now cover 35%. journalist salaries up to $85,000 per year, which would equate to $29,750 per newsroom employee.

The tax credit increase will take effect January 1, 2024 and will remain in effect for four years, while the new $85,000 cap on eligible costs is final. The tax credit rate will return to 25% in 2027.

In an interview last week, the Minister of Heritage, Pascale St-Onge, did not want to comment on the announcement imminent measure, first reported by Le Devoir. However, she had “obviously” admitted to wanting the Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, to plan an increase in this tax credit to 35%.

This measure will cost approximately $129 million over five years, starting in 2024-2025, and 10 million per year thereafter.

The Canadian journalism labor tax credit has was introduced in the 2019 budget. It provided a refundable tax credit on salaries or wages paid to eligible newsroom employees of an “eligible journalism organization.”

“Not Enough”

The president of the National Federation of Communications and Culture (FNCC-CSN), Annick Charette, said she was happy with the increase in the tax credit, stressing that the measure will certainly give “air” to theaters. news. But the enhanced credit will not be enough to stop the hemorrhage, notes the president.

“It will slow down the decline,” says Ms. Charette, who believes that the measure could save some jobs in newsrooms, depending on their size.

However, she regrets that the eligibility criteria have not been extended to electronic media, such as radio and television. The current program is still reserved for print media companies.

The leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, also deemed the measure insufficient. “Will this prevent businesses from risking closures in the next year? I'm not at all convinced,” he said shortly after the publication of the economic update on Tuesday.

The Bloc called for the establishment of an emergency fund for media in difficulty of $50 million. The New Democratic Party also supported this proposal. However, the increase in the tax credit is the only media aid measure announced in the statement from the Minister of Finance.

“We would have liked a helping hand for the media on the edge from the precipice”, adds Annick Charette. The aid to the media announced on Tuesday is, however, “a good start” which deserves to be welcomed.

“We value a free press and we defend it through real support”, for his part said argue Minister St-Onge, on /> #ÉÉA2023 provides more support so that journalists can continue to do their important work.

We value a free press and defend it through real support. 1/2

— Pascale St-Onge (@PascaleStOnge_) November 21, 2023

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