Liberal budget to include update to Trudeau's plan to support news industry

The Trudeau government is due to deliver an update to its plan to support journalism in next week’s budget.

But Ottawa’s recent silence on the file has fuelled concerns in the media industry that a lifeline is taking too long to arrive.

Last fall, the Liberals announced new tax credits and incentives, worth $595-million over the next five years, to support the struggling news industry.

READ MORE: Plans to boost support for struggling Canadian news industry expected next week

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said strong journalism was essential for a healthy democracy and that more details would be in the federal budget.

But while the industry applauded the plan, Conservatives accused the government of trying to buy journalists ahead of the October election.

Some journalists have warned the aid package could erode the independence and credibility of the press.

WATCH: Conservative MP Peter Kent grills Justin Trudeau on media bailout

In November, Ottawa said it would create an independent panel of experts from the journalism community to seek advice on the measures and, in particular, define which outlets will be eligible for a refundable tax credit on labour costs.

But the government has yet to set up the panel — and John Hinds, the C-E-O of News Media Canada, says the “clock is ticking.”

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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