The President of La Presse, Pierre-Elliott Levasseur, has announced the publication's intention to adopt a not for profit structure that will benefit from a financial contribution of $50 million from Power Corporation.
This change in structure requires the repeal of a provision of a Private Act adopted in 1967 regarding the ownership of La Presse. The new structure will be established shortly after the legislative provision is repealed, depending on the outcome of the legislative process.
Thereafter, Power Corporation will no longer own La Presse and will no longer have any ties with the not for profit structure. A social trust will be established and the trust deed will be made public at that time.
Once the new structure is established, all profit from operations, any government assistance and money collected from donors will serve the operations of La Presse, with the ultimate goal of producing high-quality news reporting for the public at large.
The new structure is designed to be a modern approach adapted to the realities of today’s written media. The contribution of $50 million from Power Corporation will help La Presse focus on its strategic plan in an orderly manner and to bring together the necessary conditions to expand its support base, from the federal government, to major donors, foundations, advertisers and the general public. La Presse will be able to pursue its mission: producing high-quality, thorough and reliable news and promoting diversity of opinion with respect for ideas and individuals.
American giants Facebook and Google monopolize nearly 80% of digital advertising revenue in Canada. La Presse urges the federal government to act on its intention, expressed in the last budget, to financially support the written press through philanthropic models, as well as through direct assistance to help it pursue its mission, a key component of a healthy democracy.
As part of this change in structure, Power Corporation is also ready to establish, in collaboration with the unions, a mechanism to retain past retirement plan obligations under its responsibility on a going concern basis. This will notably reduce La Presse’s future financial burden while benefiting retirees as well as active and inactive employees who have accumulated pensions up to the date when the new structure is established.