Canada’s largest newspaper chain says grants are aimed at ‘welfare slackers’ but says government support for investors is at the heart of its business model
Postmedia, the corporate media giant that owns right-wing newspapers including the National Post and the Toronto Sun, has passed the COVID-19 pandemic railing against emergency government grants such as “lavish gifts” for “social slackers”.
But it turns out that Postmedia didn’t just invest tens of millions of dollars in rescue money and emergency grants – the company also claims that these taxpayer-funded documents are, in fact, “key pillars” of its business strategy.
The right-wing media conglomerate offered the rash admission to investors in its recent press release Annual report 2020.
In a letter to shareholders, Andrew MacLeod, CEO, said Postmedia would likely not be profitable without more than $ 35 million in federal “government support”:
“Since March, we have focused on four key pillars: preserving liquidity, containing costs, maximizing revenues and supporting government.”
Specifically, the report notes that the company received Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (SCAR) money from March 15 to August 29, 2020 to recover more than $ 21 million. The company also pocketed $ 14.5 million in journalism tax credits.
The company also lists the availability of government grants and tax credits as “key factors affecting operating results”:
“You have to use judgment in determining when government grants and tax credits are recognized. Government grants and tax credits are recognized when there is reasonable assurance that we have complied with the conditions associated with the relevant government program. Determining reasonable assurance involves judgment due to the complexity of the programs and related claims and review processes. “
Postmedia Executive Chairman Paul Godfrey, who has made several large donations to Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives and Doug Ford’s Ontario PCs in recent years, stressed the importance of government support for the sustainability of the corporate business model.
“Since Postmedia has been around, we have pressured governments to tackle threats to our industry,” Godfrey wrote. “We hope to see the Canadian government do as other governments have done to support journalism.
Last year, despite tens of millions of dollars in government grants, Postmedia laid off 40 employees and closed 15 newspapers.
Earlier this year, federal authorities dropped a Postmedia criminal conspiracy investigation despite Postmedia and TorStar evidence plotted to shut down 41 local newspapers and eliminate hundreds of jobs in journalism.
Postmedia right-wing newspaper chain have variously described another wage subsidy, the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, as an “all-you-can-eat buffet for young people who can convert their part-time job to $ 2,000 a month in spending money.”
Postmedia did not respond to requests for comment from Tap Progress.
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