The concept is simple.
We wanted to get away from the idea of a direct fund for news. We then looked for a solution that would provide funding based on responsibilities. Yes, we are proposing a tax credit. The money would come from the government, but the tax credit would lead to results.
We see that there are fewer and fewer journalists in the regions. They cover what is happening around news stations, but they are less and less likely to step away from the station or newspaper. To encourage this regional coverage, we are proposing a payroll tax credit. Right now, in the media outlets where some of our members are working, local staff are losing their jobs for the sake of centralizing production. For instance, in the next few months, TVA will centralize production in Montreal for the Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières stations. As a result, people in the regions will be losing their jobs.
If jobs are lost in the regions, their economy is weaker. That is why we believe that a tax credit, even if it meant the government spending more money, would be an asset for the regional economy.