Feds may break newspapers to aid Google/Facebook

A bill currently working its way through Quebec’s National Assembly could have significant negative impacts on local newspapers if enacted, The Montreal Gazette reports.

Last week, a coalition of newspapers warned a National Assembly committee that the disappearance of the notices in newspapers “would lead to the loss of at least 100 quality jobs and the closure of many papers.”

The story highlights another troubling trend for Canadian newspapers: that government advertising has dropped significantly in recent years.

The federal government, for example, spent $20 million on newspaper ads in 2004. Ten years later, spending in papers had dropped to under $400,000, while Ottawa was spending $4.7 million on ads on Facebook and Google.

— Newspapers Canada is the national association of the daily and community newspaper industry, with over 800 members in every province and territory.

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