The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper, has told its shareholders that the Trudeau government’s media bailout has been netting the corporation $115,385 a week so far.
The report, which was first reported on by Blacklock’s Reporter, shows that the media outlet is already valuing the government handouts it has received this year in the millions.
“We recorded an estimated benefit of $3 million for the first half of the year in respect of a new refundable labour tax credit for qualifying journalism organizations,” they wrote.
Torstar Corporation, the company which owns the Toronto Star, is publically traded with thousands of employees. Its flagship newspaper is the largest print newspaper in Canada.
Torstar is haemorrhaging money, losing $31.5 million in 2018, with similar losses projected for this year.
The $595 million media bailout will be given to “government-approved” media outlets over the next five years, though this is not a fixed amount — the amount could increase depending on alleged need.
The bailout, purported to be an aid to the struggling print media industry, has been criticized as a bribe to the media ahead of the federal election.
Media outlets receiving the bailouts and per-employee subsidies will likely depend on the federal government for a considerable portion of their revenue for the foreseeable future.
Those outlets which receive government funds are considered to be “qualified Canadian journalism organizations,” though this term is not clearly defined.
The Trudeau government was criticized for appointing a representative of Unifor to the committee that decides which “qualified Canadian journalism organizations” receive taxpayer dollars. Unifor, the massive labour union, has constantly attacked the Conservative Party and has even proudly called themselves “Andrew Scheer’s worst nightmare”.
With an election beginning in only one month, the media bailout may become a top issue for voters. It is unclear if Conservative leader Andrew Scheer will cancel the media bailout fund if his party forms government.