Yesterday Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau brought in their annual budget.
The main thing to know is that it no Canadian government has ever spent more; Canadians have never paid more taxes; and the national debt has never been higher.
This budget finally reveals a few details about the massive $595 million media bail-out that Trudeau promised last fall. You know: The money that will only go to journalists that Trudeau can "trust"?
Among other things, Trudeau is promising:
"[A] new refundable tax credit for journalism organizations; a new non-refundable tax credit for subscriptions to Canadian digital news; and access to charitable tax incentives for not-for-profit journalism.”
Do you get nervous when you hear that the government is going to help the media be better?
My favourite part of this section of the budget is what I call the Ban The Rebel clause, which I'm sure was included as a poison pill to bring us down.
Don’t take my word for it; Here’s Kent Driscoll, a reporter with APTN:
Tax credits are a decent way to help support media. Go buy a @TorontoStar subscription and get it counted against your taxes. Sticky wicket is going to be when Ezra and his ilk come looking to get on the eligible list. Panel needs to be really strong.
Here’s Andrew Potter, of the Ottawa Citizen:
Who is Ezra you ask, and why should we be worried? If you don't know the answer to that, then that's part of the problem.
Here’s an article on the budget by Paul Wells, who is personal friends with Trudeau. Writing about the "panel of experts" the Liberals want formed, Wells writes:
One suspects this line is designed to keep the kitty out of the hands of anyone named Ezra.
The good news for Paul Wells, and Kent Driscoll, who I actually never heard of before today, and Althia Raj, and that funny looking guy Andrew Potter, is:
I’m not coming to take any money.