The program announced today by Quebec is an emergency measure. In order to save Quebec’s media, François Legault’s government needs to be more audacious, stated the Official Opposition Critic for Communications, Ms. Isabelle Melançon.
Taxing Internet giants’ revenues is a must, insists the MNA representing Verdun. Some 80% of Quebec media advertising revenues have shifted to web giants over the last few years.
Ms. Melançon finds it hard to explain why the government waited so long to establish this program when the media crisis has been ongoing for quite some time. A proactive government that was sensitive to the situation would have chosen to provide media outlets with this breathing room when it adopted its budget last March.
François Legault didn’t think that taxing Internet giants warranted a place among the demands he made to federal political parties. It should have been a priority. To illustrate, taxing 3% of Facebook’s revenues would represent an additional $20M to fund Quebec media. This solution, as opposed to a tax credit, would have no new impact on taxpayers.
All the stakeholders who took part in the Commission on the Future of Media were unanimous about the importance of taxing web giants. It is crucial to ensuring our local media’s survival. Minister Roy, who has worked in the media industry herself, knows very well that a tax credit will not be enough to halt the crisis in which our media is immersed. I hope that her interventions won’t be limited to today’s announcement and that she will prove more audacious in the coming weeks.
–Isabelle Melançon, MNA representing Verdun and Liberal Critic for Culture and Communications