Montreal daily newspaper Le Devoir has become the latest Quebec media outlet to transform into a registered journalism organization – which can issue tax receipts for donations.
The publication said Thursday it had obtained “qualified donee” status under a tax measure from 2020 introduced by the federal government to support Canadian journalism. With the new designation, Le Devoir will benefit from tax advantages, including the ability to issue donation receipts, to be exempt from income tax, and to receive donations from registered charities.
Until now, the newspaper had relied on philanthropic revenues from a donor base but could not issue tax receipts. The 113-year-old Le Devoir said obtaining the status was the result of many years of talks with Canadian government departments and agencies.
“These new prospects for philanthropic revenue growth will complement Le Devoir’s staunchly defended paid subscription model for both its print and digital editions,” the newspaper said in a statement.
“In a context of perpetual digital evolution and imposing challenges in the information sector, obtaining this status is an essential recognition to ensure the continuity of Le Devoir.”
Le Devoir had to change its complex legal structure to be eligible, including by converting institutional and private shareholder shares into loans equivalent to their initial contributions. Shareholders, which include the newspaper’s unionized employees, will retain voting rights on the board of directors.
The daily newspaper was founded in 1910 by Henri Bourassa, a journalist and politician, and per his wishes, the newspaper has retained its independence and is not owned by any group.
Le Devoir is the sixth media outlet in Quebec to obtain RJO status, following others such as La Presse.