Help for the media: an expert committee calls for broader tax measures

A committee of independent experts is recommending that the federal government broaden the scope of available tax credits to help small media survive.
In its final report to the government, released on Thursday, the committee argues that small publications should be allowed to count freelancers among their reporters in order to qualify for the tax credit program as a news organization.

The committee also recommends that the rules defining donors to a news organization with charitable status be expanded. And it is the Canada Revenue Agency that should establish, with the help of an advisory body, the companies that will be eligible for financial assistance.

In his latest budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau had planned tax measures totaling about $ 600 million to support media outlets that have been in a revenue crisis for a few years.

The federal government then appointed a panel of experts to guide the implementation of these measures.

The full report of the Independent Panel of Experts
The minutes of the meeting of the Independent Panel of Experts on Journalism and the Press
On Capitales M├ędias Group’s side, President and Chief Executive Officer Claude Gagnon described the committee’s recommendations as “logical” considering his “very limited” mandate.

Whoever is also president and publisher of the Sun would have liked however that the independent group of experts could deal with the definition of the functions that will be considered to have access to a tax credit, such as “correspondents, collaborators and contractual photographers” . ”

Mr. Gagnon also believes that the maximum salary set and the percentage of the credit granted do not take into account the reality and the real needs of the industry. “Also, the concept of interim credit financing is of major importance considering the short-term needs of all media in the country,” he added.

“We would also have liked the notion of a non-profit organization to consider the particularity of Le Devoir ,” said the president and director of GCM. And we could also have considered the smallest weekly in the help program, because they also have difficulties. ” With Le Soleil

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