MCC's media assistance plan was introduced in 2017 and enhanced in 2019 to support the print news media sector, which is experiencing an unprecedented crisis, due in particular to the loss of revenue to foreign digital platforms. The plan proposes various measures to ensure the availability of diversified regional news. Those measures are as follows:
1. Support for RecycleMedias to offset the monetary contribution of newspapers for selective collection
2. Programme d'aide a l'adaptation numerique des entreprises de la presse d'information ecrite (PAANEPIE [Print news media digitization assistance program])
3. Enhancement of the community media assistance program to strengthen local and regional news and introduce a one-time assistance measure
In addition to these measures, two tax credits were introduced by the Government of Quebec to encourage digital innovation in the business models of print news media companies and to support the salaries of newsroom employees. However, those tax credits are the responsibility of Revenu Quebec.
The operating assistance program has been supporting community media since 1973. In 2019-2020, 154 community media outlets received operating support. In addition, 24 community media outlets received one-time project assistance.
Since the digitization assistance program was introduced in 2017, 38 projects have been supported, including 17 in 2019-2020.
In 2019-2020, more than USD 9.2 million (CAD12.7 million) was disbursed through media assistance programs under the responsibility of MCC.