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More questions cloud Ottawas plan to help media: Walkom

A Commons committee charged with looking into Canada’s troubled media has suggested an implicit bargain.On one hand, through a series of tax changes and grants, the government would offer financial support to traditional and new media companies.On the other, the government would crack down hard on media mergers that far too often leave local communities badly served.It’s not a bad saw-off. Canada’s financially troubled media firms would be wise to support it.Thursday’s majority report from the Liberal-dominated Commons heritage committee is not government policy. Indeed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already ruled out one of its recommendations — a 5 per cent levy on broadband Internet services designed to catch streaming companies such as Netflix, which currently are able to avoid paying their full share of Canadian taxes.Article Continued BelowTrudeau calculates, correctly, that a so-called Netflix tax would be a political loser, particularly among the younger voters he has so carefully wooed.But most of the other measures recommended by the report, such as a five-year tax credit to help traditional print media go digital, are sufficiently obscure that they may not create much voter backlash.The federal government already offers a host of tax breaks to selected industries. Canadians seem fine with the idea.

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