Liberal Media Buyout

November 28, 2018

Canadians are accustomed to hearing the popular expression the Free Press. But after the release of the Fall Economic Update on November 21st, Canadians are asking why their free press will now cost them $600 million.

The Liberal Government recently announced that it would provide a $600 million bailout package to the news media industry. While a free press is a cornerstone of our society, it can only remain so when it is free of political influence. This bailout reflects this Government’s poor judgment and failure to recognize that their actions are an overreach. The media should never be a marionette, but the Liberal Government has unfortunately failed to acknowledge that their bailout comes with strings attached, or at least the appearance of such. Available as a tax credit, the Liberal Government will appoint a supposed independent panel to determine which media outlets are eligible for their program. Given their track record, how can anyone trust the Trudeau Government to appoint a truly independent panel?

After the Liberal Government made their announcement, Canada’s Conservatives immediately expressed concern about this expensive bailout that came in the same Economic Update that saw the federal deficit climb to nearly $20 billion. Since then, Canada’s Conservatives have demanded accountability from the Liberal Government by reminding them that a media bailout was not the charity Canadians chose this Holiday season.

I am alarmed by the consequences this bailout might have. 2019 is an election year, has Justin Trudeau removed impartiality from the ballot? The government doesn’t exactly have a good track record when trying to pick winners and losers either.

Today, free speech is a fiercely debated topic. At the heart of the matter is trust. And trust must work both ways. Why were Canadians not trusted to decide if they wanted to pay a $600 million bailout in the first place?

If you share my concerns, please have your say here. The media holds governments accountable. Throughout our history, our news media has constantly and successfully fulfilled this obligation. But to ensure a free press for tomorrow, it is important that we refuse the Liberal Government’s overreach – and hold them accountable for their bailout today.