Eight of the media companies and non-profit organizations the Trudeau government consulted on its internet regulation bill have received federal funding.

In response to a question on the order paper in the House of Commons last week, Liberal MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage Julie Dabrusin listed nearly two dozen organizations the Liberal government had consulted on Bill C-10.

“In 2018, the government appointed the broadcasting and telecommunications legislative review panel to study Canada’s communications legislation,” said Debrusin. 

“Following the publication of the panel’s report in January 2020, the minister and the department engaged with many stakeholders on the panel’s recommendations through various mechanisms, such as individual stakeholder meetings and roundtables.”

Among the companies Debrusin cited were the Canadian Media Producers Association, Rogers Media, Zoomer Media, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), the Indigenous Screen Office, the Canada Media Fund, CBC/Radio-Canada and the Coalition for Diversity of Cultural Expression. 

Publicly available federal grant records revealed that all of the Canadian companies mentioned above had received federal funds since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected in 2015. 

The Canada Media Fund – which is a public-private endeavour founded by the Department of Canadian Heritage in 2010 – received a whopping $280,761,077 in federal funds in 2020. 

Private companies like Rogers Media and Zoomer Media also benefited from the Trudeau government’s generosity in recent years. According to official data, Zoomer media received two payments in 2020 totaling $987,971 and $246,993 respectively. The company also received government funding in 2019 worth $987,971 and in 2018 for $1,045,168

Meanwhile, Rogers Media, which owns several publications including Maclean’s and Chatelaine, also received a combined total of $3,228,009 in 2018 through the Canada Periodical Fund which is also managed by Canadian Heritage. 

Additionally, APTN received two federal grants worth $800,000 and $7,428 in 2020 while also benefiting from $1,500,000 in federal funds in 2019. 

As previously reported by True North, the Coalition for Diversity of Cultural Expression also received taxpayer dollars in 2019 as well. 

Then there’s also the Canadian Media Producers Association of Canada which got $138,300 in 2020 and $37,907.60 in 2019 from the Liberals.

This is not the first time where the federal government has referenced government-funded groups to bolster their claims of support for Bill C-10. 

In May, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault spoke of nearly a dozen Canadian organizations that have given support to Bill C-10 without revealing that they were recipients of government funds.

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