OTTAWA, Oct. 25, 2018 /CNW/ - The union representing 12,000 Canadian journalists and media workers is urging members of the federal cabinet to implement key policy recommendations from the 2017 Commons Heritage report on local news in the upcoming federal budget.
"We are looking for cabinet members to champion local news in the next budget," said National President Jerry Dias. "The most effective way to counteract bots, trolls, and fake news is professional news reporting. We can't have our election politics tampered with."
Unifor says the Liberal cabinet should prioritize Income Tax measures that favour Canadian media over American rivals, as well as allowing tax deductible donations to support hard news reporting by professional news organizations. The federal government should increase the budget for the Canadian Periodical Fund, and make daily newspapers eligible for the fund.
Unifor representatives spent the last three days meeting with 85 Members of Parliament from four major political parties, discussing the findings of the Commons Heritage Report which documented how the outflow of digital advertising dollars to Silicon Valley has starved Canadian media of revenues needed to fund local news.
"Members of Parliament understand that the political dialogue in this country is vulnerable to being corrupted by extreme and misleading propaganda on social media platforms," said Dias. "The solution to fake news is real news."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
For further information: Unifor Director of Communications Natalie Clancy at Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or 416-707-5794 (cell).