Trudeau promises to raise issue of falling media revenues at G7 leaders’ summit

A selection of newspapers owned by Groupe Capitales Médias (GCM) are pictured in Montreal on Monday, August 19, 2019. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he plans to take the issue of declining news revenues amid domination by tech giants to the G7 leaders’ summit in France later this week.

The subject resurfaced when Groupe Capitales Médias, a cash-strapped French-language newspaper chain, filed for creditor protection Monday.

READ MORE: Quebec to give $5M in emergency funding to newspaper chain

The same day, the Quebec government announced a $5-million loan from Investissement Quebec to the media company, whose daily newspapers include Le Droit of Gatineau-Ottawa and Quebec City’s Le Soleil.

Trudeau said Tuesday the situation requires more than a “one-off solution.”

“We need one that the international community will adhere to,'” the prime minister told reporters in Trois-Rivieres, Que. “Everyone has to pay their share.”

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“This is a question we will certainly be discussing this weekend at the G7, where the international community is looking at how to make sure it’s fair for the whole system.”

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However, Trudeau reiterated that his government was not mulling a tax hike.

French President Emmanuel Macron recently imposed a landmark tax on tech companies like Google and Facebook –which have lured advertising revenues away from news outlets — designed to stop multinationals from avoiding taxes by setting up European headquarters in low-tax European Union countries.

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Currently, companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Airbnb and Uber pay very little tax on their significant business in countries like France.

The three per cent tax that went into force last month mainly concerns companies that use consumer data to sell online advertising.

The Trump administration has said the tax is discriminatory against U.S. business.

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