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Newspapers lobbying Ottawa for cash

The advocacy body for the news media industry is lobbying the feds on copyrights and remuneration rights for news media organizations.

Erin Finlay of Stohn Hay Cafazzo Dembroski Richmond LLP registered last week for News Media Canada to lobby on those provisions in the Copyright Act.

News Media Canada has been vocal in its call for more robust supports from Ottawa to help the industry weather the COVID-19 pandemic and address longer term structural issues, as more and more media outlets move away from a reliance on advertising to subscription-based models.

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault announced in April that the feds were rolling out new measures to help shore up the media sector during the COVID-19-induced economic slowdown, including putting in place some $595 million in long-promised tax measures and vowing to invest money from the government’s $33-million national pandemic awareness campaign in Canadian media outlets.

Industry representatives, though, said the tax supports are simply rehashed policy announcements from 2018, and that access to meaningful funding is desperately needed to help the sector move to a sustainable business model.

“The industry is really going to run out of cash very soon,” John Hinds, CEO of newspaper advocacy group News Media Canada, said at the time.

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