GATINEAU, QC, July 18, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - The Journalism and Written Media Independent Panel of Experts unveiled today its final report submitted to the Government of Canada to assist with the equitable and effective implementation of tax measures in support of Canadian journalism, as outlined in the 2019 federal budget.
The report provides guidance to determine which journalism organizations qualify for these tax measures, based on criteria outlined in the budget legislation for the program, which is intended to support written news outlets that provide news of general interest to Canadian audiences.
The Panel recognizes that this program is limited in scope, and has also made recommendations for government action that goes beyond the support provided in the budget legislation. The Panel did not have a mandate to change any provisions already passed into law, but was allowed to make further recommendations.
Among the recommendations for small publications, the Panel underlined that some of the incentive limitations set out by the government – such as the requirement to have at least two regular newsroom employees for at least the past year – excluded smaller, local news outlets that are at significant risk of disappearing. The Panel recommends that small publications serving "established audiences" for at least a decade, should be allowed to apply for tax credits for freelancers and independent contractors.
The Panel also recommends another funding program specifically for small print and digital publications, and suggest five per cent of the federal government's advertising budget should be directed to publications written for minority language communities.
Eight journalism groups were invited to be part of the Panel, including the Quebec Community Newspapers Association, which represents English-language publications in the province. QCNA's Vice-President Brenda O'Farrell was a member of the Panel.
The Panel's final report, along with the minutes of its deliberations have been made public, and can be accessed here:
Report of the Journalism and Written Media Independent Panel of Experts
Minutes of the Meeting of the Journalism and Written Media Independent Panel of Experts
SOURCE Quebec Community Newspapers Association (QCNA)
For further information: Brenda O'Farrell, Vice-President, Quebec Community Newspapers Association, 514-246-2981