MONTREAL – Quebecor Inc. wants the courts to strike down a provincial government decree that gives $10 million in repayable financial assistance to another media organization.
The media conglomerate has filed a motion in Quebec Superior Court to have the government move declared null and void.
Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau says the money earmarked for Groupe Capitales Medias shows what he calls “blatant favouritism” on behalf of the government.
Groupe Capitales Medias owns Quebec Le Soleil, Trois-Rivieres Le Nouvelliste, Ottawa Le Droit, Saguenay Le Quotidien, Granby La Voix de l’Est and Sherbrooke La Tribune.
“At a time when print media are facing both a financial crisis and a crisis of confidence, every effort must be made to ensure that government support for the media serves to strengthen public confidence in the press, not to undermine it,” Peladeau said in a statement.
“The assistance granted to Groupe Capitales Medias misses the mark by every measure.”
Quebec Economy Minister Dominique Anglade defended the government’s decision last December, saying it was business-driven and was an investment in a Quebec “company” as opposed to a Quebec “media organization.”
She said 400 jobs were at risk.
Quebecor holds an 81.53 per cent stake in Quebecor Media, whose interests include its flagship Le Journal de Montreal as well as Le Journal de Quebec.
Companies in this story: (TSX:QBR.B)