In the House

Petition on Media e-2464

By June 17, 2020 June 18th, 2020 No Comments

Initiated by Margaret Ormrod from St. Albert, Alberta.

Whereas:

  • Canada’s largest newspaper chain is owned mostly by U.S. hedge funds which did a legal end run around our foreign ownership limits; • They were then allowed to take over our second-largest chain;
  • Postmedia Network thus owns 15 of Canada’s 21 largest dailies, including eight of the nine largest in our three westernmost provinces;
  • Federal enquiries going back 50 years warned Canadians about the dangers of growing media ownership concentration, including Reports of the Special Senate Committee on Mass Media (1970), the Royal Commission on Newspapers (1981), the Senate Committee on News Media (2006), and the Heritage Committee on Media and Local Communities (2017);
  • All these reports urged measures to check concentration and then newspaper-television “convergence,” but few were taken;
  • By 2010, convergence left our news media in ruins; we are now bailing out big media;
  • As Marc Edge noted in his recent book “The News We Deserve”, their pages have been stripped of local news and filled instead with corporate and political propaganda;
  • In 2015, Postmedia merged the newsrooms of its duopoly dailies in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa despite promising not to; and
  • Assistance to news media outlets of $595 million was provided in the 2019 federal budget.

We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to use our tax dollars to foster a more pluralistic Canadian news media by providing subsidies only to Canadian-owned publications, as a free and diverse press is essential to a healthy democracy.

Petition link: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-2464