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Trudeau gov’t fall economic statement includes massive payouts to legacy media ahead of election

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5 minute read

From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

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.  

“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,” 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.” 

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!” 

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. 

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Economy

Canada’s struggling private sector—a tale of two cities

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From the Fraser Institute

By Jason Clemens and Joel Emes

” the private sector must generate the income used to pay for government bureaucrats and government programs. When commercial centres have lower median employment incomes than capital cities, the private sector may be in real distress. “

According to almost every indicator including economic growth, business investment, entrepreneurship, and the employment and unemployment rates, Canada’s private sector is struggling.

A novel way to think about the sorry state of the private sector is to compare income levels in “commercial” cities (basically, cities with little to no provincial or federal government activity and largely characterized by private business activity) with income levels in capital cities, which are dominated by government.

Since the beginning of COVID (February 2020) to June 2023, government-sector job growth in Canada was 11.8 per cent compared to just 3.3 per cent for the private sector (including the self-employed). Put differently, the government sector is booming while the private sector is anemic.

The marked growth in employment in the government sector compared to the private sector is also important because of the wage premiums paid in the government. A 2023 study using data from Statistics Canada for 2021 (the latest year of available data at the time), found that—after controlling for factors such as sex, age, marital status, education, tenure, industry, occupation and location—government workers (federal, provincial and local) enjoyed an 8.5 per cent wage premium over their private-sector counterparts. And this wage gap does not include the more generous pensions typically enjoyed by government workers, their earlier retirement, and lower rates of job loss (i.e. greater job security).

According to a separate recent study, five of the 10 provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and New Brunswick) have a distinct commercial centre other than the capital city, and in all five provinces in 2019 (pre-pandemic) the median employment income in the capital city exceeded that of the commercial centre, sometimes by a wide margin. For example, the median employment income in Quebec City was $41,290 compared to $36,660 in Montreal. (The study used median income instead of average income to control for the effect of a small percentage of very high-income earners that can influence the average income for a city.)

Remember, the private sector must generate the income used to pay for government bureaucrats and government programs. When commercial centres have lower median employment incomes than capital cities, the private sector may be in real distress.

Equally as telling is the comparison with the United States. Twenty-three U.S. states have a capital that’s distinct from their main commercial centre, but among that group, only five (North Dakota, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and Kentucky) had capital cities that clearly had higher levels of median employment income compared to the main commercial centre in the state. This is not to say the U.S. doesn’t have similar problems in its private sector, but its commercial centres generate higher median employment incomes than the capital cities in their states, indicating a potentially better functioning private sector within the state.

Many indicators in Canada are flashing red alerts regarding the health of the economy. The comparative strength of our capital cities compared to commercial centres in generating employment income is yet another sign that more attention and policy reforms are needed to reinvigorate our private sector, which ultimately pays for the government sector.

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Alberta

Taxpayers Federation hoping for personal tax relief in Alberta budget

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Albertans need income tax relief now

Author: Kris Sims 

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the Alberta government to stick to its promise of cutting its income tax in tomorrow’s provincial budget.

“Cutting the provincial income tax was a huge campaign promise from the UCP and it needs to happen right away,” said Kris Sims, CTF Alberta Director. “Finance Minister Nate Horner should announce this income tax cut in the budget tomorrow.”

The provincial budget will be presented Feb. 29.

During the 2023, election the UCP promised to create a lower income tax bracket for the first $59,000 of earnings, charging eight per cent instead of the current 10 per cent.

The UCP said that move would save Albertans earning $60,000 or more about $760 per year.

The Alberta government currently charges workers who make under $142,292 per year a 10 per cent income tax rate.

By comparison, British Columbia charges an income tax of five per cent on the first $45,654 of earnings and seven per cent up to $91,310.

In B.C., a worker earning $100,000 pays about $5,857 in provincial income tax.

In Alberta that same worker pays about $7,424 in provincial income tax.

“Taxpayers need to see a balanced budget, spending restraint and our promised lower income taxes in this budget,” said Sims.

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