Support for Canadian Journalism – General

Notice to the reader

These measures have received Royal Assent. 

These measures are intended to provide support to Canadian journalism organizations producing original news. An independent panel will be established in order to assist the Government in implementing these measures, including recommending eligibility criteria for the purposes of the three measures.

"Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization" (QCJO) status is a necessary condition for each of the three proposed measures. The following questions and answers are intended to provide a general overview of QCJO status as proposed in Budget 2019. They are not a substitute for the law.

1. What is a QCJO?

An organization will be required to meet, at any time, the following conditions to be a QCJO:

  • it is organized as a corporation, partnership or trust and meets additional criteria depending on how it is organized;
  • it operates in Canada, including that its content is edited, designed and, except in the case of digital content, published in Canada;
  • it is primarily engaged in the production of original news content which:
    • must be primarily focused on matters of general interest and reports of current events, including coverage of democratic institutions and processes, and
    • must not be primarily focused on a particular topic such as industry-specific news, sports, recreation, arts, lifestyle or entertainment;
  • it regularly employs two or more journalists who deal at arm’s length with the organization in the production of its content;
  • it is not significantly engaged in the production of content
    • to promote the interests, or report on the activities, of an organization, an association or its members,
    • for a government, Crown corporation or government agency, or
    • to promote goods or services;
  • it is not a Crown corporation, municipal corporation or government agency; and
  • it is designated, at that time, by a body prescribed for this purpose.

Furthermore, to qualify as a QCJO, a corporation will be required to be incorporated and resident in Canada. Its chairperson (or other presiding officer) and at least 75 per cent of its directors must be Canadian citizens. In general, in order for a partnership or trust to qualify, such corporations described above, along with Canadian citizens, must own at least 75 per cent of the interests in it.

2. Who determines what criteria are required for QCJO status?

Budget 2019 proposes that the Government establish an independent panel that will be responsible for recommending the eligibility criteria required to qualify as a QCJO.

3. Who is on the independent panel?

Details regarding the independent panel will be made available shortly.

4. Where can I get more information?

The CRA provides the latest information on the proposed changes on Taxpayers should check online regularly for updated forms, policies, guidelines, questions and answers, and guidance.

In the meantime, please consult the Department of Finance Canada’s Budget 2019 documents for details.

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