By Ian Croft
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The recent reports of mass media layoffs from CTV have not gone unnoticed by Canada’s federal government. Martin Shields, MP for Bow River, discussed a recent House sitting where the Minister of Heritage was present.
“The Minister of Heritage (Pablo Rodriguez) was (on) that committee, and it was to do with the tech giants,” said Shields. “There was an article out there on the media, because (of) the number of mass layoffs that are occurring by one of our major medias out there, CTV. They’re cutting a lot of TV stations, news media out there, and it referred to the issue of $60 million going to Meta, Google, in the sense of advertising. It no longer goes to media in this country, and that came up in the article.”
Media organizations from coast to coast are struggling to survive on this unfair playing field, and many historic newspapers have shuttered their doors forever creating serious news deserts in rural areas of Canada.
“That’s one of the things that I talked about when they say there’s 450 media outlets of various kinds in Canada that have closed over the past few years,” said Shields. “One of them that I brought up was the advertising, for example, that goes to tech international giants. That came up in the new story, when major companies (are) shutting down CTV stations, radios, (there’s a) number of different things that they’re shutting across the country. It did come up in that story as well that why is the government giving these major tech companies tens of millions of dollars for advertising instead of into our local media?”