The subsidies for legacy media come as Canadians’ trust in mainstream media is polling at an all-time low
The federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s fall economic statement includes massive payouts for mainstream media outlets ahead of and after the 2025 election.
On November 21, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered the Liberal Government’s Fall Economic Statement in the House of Commons, which includes legacy media subsidies which will cost taxpayers $129 million over the next five years.
“To ensure a strong and independent press can continue to thrive in Canada the Fall Economic Statement proposes to enhance the Canadian journalism labour tax credit,” the Department of Finance wrote.
Beginning in 2019, Parliament changed the Income Tax Act to give yearly rebates of 25 percent for each news employee in cabinet-approved media outlets earning up to $55,000 a year, to a maximum of $13,750.
However, the Canadian Heritage Department since admitted that the payouts are not sufficient to keep legacy media outlets running. The department recommended that rebates be doubled next year to a maximum $29,750 annually.
This suggestion was adopted by the Trudeau government in the Fall Economic Statement, which increased the rebates to 35 percent on newsroom salaries up to $85,000, totaling a maximum rebate of $29,750. The temporary tax credit is set to apply for the next four years.
While media subsidies were to set to expire March 31, 2024, they have now been expanded to 2029 past the next general election. The increased payouts are expected to cost taxpayer $129 million in the next five years and an additional $10 million for every subsequent year.
The Trudeau government’s decision has been roundly condemned by Canadians on social media, many of whom are pointing to it as Trudeau’s attempt to make up for the failure of Bill C-18.
Bill C-18, the Online News Act, was projected to increase legacy media revenue by forcing Big Tech companies to pay to publish Canadian content on their platforms.
However, instead of paying the fees, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, blocked all access to news content in Canada, while Google has promised to do the same. As a result, Canadians have been blocked from viewing legacy media outlets’ social media platforms.
“This is just a massive bailout using public dollars for the government’s blunder on Bill C-18,” Canadian academic and law professor Michael Geist wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “News outlets could previously claim a max of $13,750 per employee. That now increases to $29,750 or by 116%.”
Note that this is retroactive as it applies to expenditures from the start of the year. It’s a $60M gift to the news sector, to off-set the lost revenues due to its own legislation. So the industry lobbied for Bill C-18 and then lobbied for a bailout.https://t.co/XpccVcyRTy
— Michael Geist (@mgeist) November 21, 2023
“Note that this is retroactive as it applies to expenditures from the start of the year,” he added. “It’s a $60M gift to the news sector, to off-set the lost revenues due to its own legislation. So the industry lobbied for Bill C-18 and then lobbied for a bailout.”
Similarly, Canadian politician and CEO of the Western Standard Derek Fildebrandt said, “Ottawa is turning journalism into little better than supply-managed dairy farming. It is quickly becoming impossible to run a media company of any scale without taking the damned bailout money.”
They pass legislation devastating our ability to grow revenues, shrug their shoulders after we told them 100 times this is exactly what would happen, and propose to simply cut more bailout cheques. https://t.co/vMRLfE9CLC
— Derek Fildebrandt (@Dfildebrandt) November 21, 2023
Additionally, Royal Canadian Air Force Veteran Rex Glacer pointed out that thanks to the payouts, “Legacy media is now nothing but employees of the Liberal Party of Canada whose job is to help Trudeau win the next election, congratulations on your pay raises!”
Legacy media is now nothing but employees of the Liberal Party of Canada whose job is to help Trudeau win the next election, congratulations on your pay raises! https://t.co/26k925AlvI
— Rex Glacer (@rexglacer) November 22, 2023
The renewed media bailouts come as trust in mainstream media is polling at an all-time low with Canadians.
According to recent study by Canada’s Public Health Agency’s (PHA), less than a third of Canadians displayed “high trust” of the federal government, with “large media organizations” as well as celebrities getting even lower scores.
Large mainstream media outlets and “journalists” working for them scored a “high trust” rating of only 18 percent. This was followed by only 12 percent of people saying they trusted “ordinary people,” with celebrities garnering only an eight percent “trust” rating.
Edmonton triples venture capital investment in 2023
Alberta’s tech sector continues its strong momentum, with Edmonton seeing its strongest growth ever, proof Alberta remains a hot tech market.
As global and national investment have declined, Alberta has remained a strong tech market and is showing continued leadership, as shown by Pitchbook ranking Calgary as the 12th fastest-growing tech ecosystem in the world and LinkedIn ranking Calgary as one of the best places to hire and recruit tech workers.
At the end of 2023, Alberta’s five-year growth rate for venture capital dollars invested reached an impressive 48.5 per cent, more than triple Canada’s compounded average growth rate of 13 per cent, according to the 2023 Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association fourth-quarter report.
The province’s growth rate means Alberta finished 2023 with $707 million invested over 86 deals, in line with Alberta’s 2022 record-breaking year. In contrast, Canada ended the year with a 31 per cent decline in investments. Over the past five years, Alberta technology companies have secured more than $2.7 billion in venture capital funding across 350 deals, creating thousands of jobs for Albertans.
“While Canada as a whole saw massive declines, Alberta has held steady. We are a major venture capital player in Canada, as technology drives growth across all sectors.”
Alberta’s two largest cities continued to attract investment dollars in 2023, with Calgary and Edmonton coming in fourth and fifth respectively for number of deals, with $501 million invested in 64 deals in Calgary and $188 million invested in 21 deals in Edmonton. Edmonton saw a 324 per cent increase from $58 million in 2022 to $188 million in 2023. In total, Alberta captured 10.3 per cent of dollars invested in 2023 and 13 per cent of venture capital deals in Canada.
“Edmonton’s tripling of venture capital investment in 2023 underscores our city’s position as a dynamic tech capital within Alberta’s thriving innovation ecosystem, reaffirming our role as a powerhouse driving technological advancement and economic prosperity across diverse sectors. It is the local innovators’ relentless pursuit of solutions to real-world problems, with the continuing support of the Government of Alberta, which not only attracts significant investment but also propels our city to the forefront of Alberta’s tech revolution and fosters job creation for our community.”
“At Platform Calgary we are working with our partners to continue this momentum by linking up high potential tech startups with the investors that can help them take their businesses to the next level. The evidence is clear, Alberta is emerging as one of the most exciting and resilient tech ecosystems in the world. Together with our growing tech community, we can secure Alberta’s position as the best place in the world for anyone to launch and grow a tech business.”
Alberta remains a growing market for the technology and innovation sector, and Alberta’s government celebrates its steady contribution to the Alberta economy, including in the fourth quarter of 2023. The end of last year saw venture capital investments in the province increase by 35 per cent for dollars invested and 19 per cent for deals closed compared with the third quarter. There were 25 deals closed valued at a combined $173 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Taxpayer watchdog slams Trudeau gov’t for increasing debt ceiling: ‘Put down the credit card’
Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland authorized an additional $73 billion in borrowing this fiscal year.
After Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland gave herself and the government the authority to borrow an additional $73 billion this fiscal year, the head of the nation’s leading taxpayer watchdog group said the federal government needs to “put down the credit card” and return to common-sense spending.
Freeland, as per a February 15 cabinet order made under the Financial Administration Act, allowed the extra borrowing to take place.
The government has set “$517 billion to be the maximum aggregate principal amount of money that may be borrowed” before April 1. Before this cabinet order, however, the maximum amount was $444 billion.
Despite Freeland claiming that the increase in borrowing is “in no way a blank cheque,” Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Franco Terrazzano said the borrowing needs to end.
“The Trudeau government needs to put down the credit card and pick up some scissors,” Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews.
“The government should be cutting spending and balancing the budget, not racking up more debt for years to come.”
In 2021, Canada’s Parliament raised the federal debt borrowing amount by a whopping 56% under the Borrowing Authority Act. The amount went from $1.168 trillion to $1.831 trillion.
“What it does is set a ceiling for how much the government can spend,” Freeland said at the time.
Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews that the Trudeau government should be cutting spending and balancing the budget, not racking up more debt for years to come.
“More debt means more money wasted on interest charges and less room to cut taxes,” he noted.
Terrazzano observed that in the coming year the Trudeau government will be spending “more money on debt interest charges than it sends to the provinces in health transfers.”
“In a handful of years, every penny collected from the GST (Goods and Service Tax) will go toward paying interest on the debt,” he noted.
Under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, due to excessive COVID money printing, inflation has skyrocketed.
Last month, LifeSiteNews reported that fast-rising food costs in Canada have led to many people feeling a sense of “hopelessness and desperation” with nowhere to turn for help, according to the Canadian government’s own National Advisory Council on Poverty.
Last year, the Bank of Canada acknowledged that Trudeau’s federal “climate change” programs, which have been deemed “extreme” by some provincial leaders, are indeed helping to fuel inflation.
Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews that Trudeau should “completely scrap his carbon tax,” which is making everything more expensive.
Conservatives blast increased debt
Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MPs have been critical of the raised debt ceiling. “You’re simply saying, ‘Give me a blank cheque and then trust me,’” MP Ed Fast said.
Freeland claimed that the “characterization of the borrowing authority limit as a blank cheque is simply false.”
CPC leader Pierre Poilievre recently asked, “Is there a dollar figure to which she would limit the debt?”
She replied that the government is “mindful that limits exist.”
During a February 13 Senate national finance committee meeting, Budget Officer Yves Giroux noted how Trudeau’s cabinet plans in terms of spending are not clear.
“We don’t know exactly what the government plans on spending or doing in terms of new spending or potential spending,” he said when asked by Senator Elizabeth Marshall if the new borrowing limits are “still realistic.”
Marshall added, “As it stands now, do you think it looks reasonable?”
“It looks sufficient, but the government always wants to give itself some room to maneuver in case there are unforeseen events that require borrowing on short notice,” Giroux replied.
A report from September 5, 2023, by Statistics Canada shows food prices are rising faster than headline inflation at a rate of between 10% and 18% per year.
According to a recent Statistics Canada survey of supermarket prices, Canadians are paying 12% more for carrots, 14% more for hamburger (ground meat), and 27% more for baby formula.
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