Pressing Matters

A report last week claims the federal Heritage Ministry is considering a bailout for Canada’s newspaper industry. While the struggling middle-class in that industry attempts to keep its jobs, our Liberal government might reward the CEOs for their greed and self-preservation on the backs of employees. I hope it’s not so. A media mogul such as Post Media’s Paul Godfrey will say anything to the CRTC in order to get what he wants. Paraphrased example: In allowing PostMedia to swallow up Sun Media. ‘Let us merge our companies. We won’t lose any jobs!’ Months later, a huge round of job cuts ensues. ‘We had duplications in the workforce. What else could we do?’ Collect millions in a performance bonus while somehow keeping a straight face. (Depiction below is not exact.)

Drawing of a green devil with fangs holding a tall, purple flower
Picture by YoLaGringo via Flickr

The  Harper government also gave bailout packages to companies ranging from airlines to auto plants. This is nothing new. Some factories that happily absorbed government millions our taxes (Kellogg’s in London took millions from the province) have since left Canada for cheaper labour elsewhere. The savings are never passed on to the consumer or employees. But CEOs line their pockets. When is somebody going to say, enough?

The other day I heard Indigenous Services Minister Carolyn Bennett make a startling admission. She agreed that Canada’s decades-old process of removing indigenous children from poor families is designed to discriminate against native families. A native Mom living in poverty on a reserve might get $600 a month on welfare. Meantime, a non-native family will receive $1800 for taking in a child. Philpott admitted it’s a racist and unfair system that needs to change.

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, I beg you to make the same admission about industry. A bailout should not be given to a sector that erodes the middle class with regular job cuts and rewards its fat-cat CEOs. The newspaper industry has money. (So do the radio and TV industries.) It’s how they’re spending it that’s the problem. And I’m confident in saying most Canadians would agree with me that we don’t want to save them when if they adjusted their priorities, they could save themselves.

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