Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Greetings to everyone who is here today for clause-by-clause consideration of the bill.
My first amendment pertains to clause 23, which deals with the assistance being made available to print media. The purpose is to change the formula used to calculate the labour tax credit for eligible newsroom employees, by replacing line 14 on page 18. The current formula in the bill is based on an amount of $55,000, which I am proposing be raised to $85,000.
The motion addresses the comments we heard from the Fédération nationale des communications representatives. Ms. St-Onge and her team took a detailed look at the tax impact of the three proposed measures targeting print media: the labour tax credit, the tax incentive to encourage charitable donations to journalism organizations and the tax credit for digital new subscriptions.
According to the Fédération's estimates, amounts flowing from the digital news subscription tax credit and the charitable donation tax incentive would be well below the government's projections. Therefore, even if the salary cap for the labour tax credit increases, it wouldn't affect the overall envelope for the media support fund, which is nearly $600 million. Some might say that it would cost more, but the Fédération estimates that the overall amount would stay the same.
The amendment would bring the salary amount more in line with what an average unionized newsroom employee in Quebec makes, $76,000. The officials who appeared before the committee—and who are here again today—referenced an average salary of $55,000 for journalists in Canada, as per Statistics Canada, but it's $76,000 in Quebec.
That is my rationale. I hope that my fellow members will support increasing the salary cap in the bill, which will have no impact on the overall envelope of the support program.