Thank you very much for inviting the Friends to appear today. We have many worthy causes appealing for your support, and I'm here to talk about those that are related insomuch as the news is what brings the plight of these various industries to Canada's attention.
Last week, investors linked to Postmedia bought Torstar, once an extremely profitable journalism juggernaut, for a mere $51 million. This acquisition sets the stage for a duopoly in Canadian print media.
Today I'd prefer to talk to you about another duopoly, Google and Facebook, that is systematically exterminating Canadian journalism. Because of Google and Facebook, our concern today is not whether there will be enough Canadian media outlets left, but whether there will be any at all.
In 2019 digital advertising was a $7.7-billion business in Canada. Google and Facebook took almost 85% of that. As for the remainder, well, COVID-19 has cut Canada's share by more than a half. Since mid-March, more than 2,000 media jobs have been lost, bringing the 10-year total to close to 20,000. At least 300 outlets are gone for good, and hundreds more have cut staff and service.
This market dynamic, however, is not natural. It's the result of policy choices made over 15 years.