September 20th, 2019

News media advocacy group criticizes Canada Post flyer distribution plans


By The Canadian Press on September 12, 2019.

OTTAWA – An advocacy group representing print and digital news media in Canada is criticizing Canada Post plans to expand its commercial flyer distribution service.

News Media Canada says Canada Post’s move to distribute packaged commercial flyers would “seriously harm” a primary revenue source for most newspapers.

The Canada Post strategy relies on an “unfair advantage,” namely the ability to access mail boxes in apartments and condos, the advocacy group says.

The group is asking the government to restrict Canada Post from using a tool given to them by the government to directly compete with local newspapers.

Newspapers have traditionally been the main delivery source for flyers that advertise products for local businesses, and the practice is a major revenue source for many media outlets.

News Media Canada is arguing the move by the Crown corporation runs counter to the recent direction the government has taken in providing support for news media.

“At a time when our industry is knee-deep in transition, this deliberate undercutting of one of newspapers’ foundational revenue pillars by a federal Crown Corporation is very troubling,” said John Hinds, head of News Media Canada.

The Liberal government has promised almost $600 million in tax credits and incentives for some media organizations over the next five years.

Outlets that meet certain qualifications will receive a 25 per cent tax credit on salaries for some newsroom employees, while media organizations will also be able to apply for charity-like status.

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