Government invokes closure to allow La Presse to become non-profit
La Presse publisher Guy Crevier, left, responds to a question as president Pierre-Elliott Levasseur looks on during a news conference Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in Montreal. Montreal-based La Pressenews group says it plans to adopt a not-for-profit structure if Quebec repeals a provision allowing it to do so. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Published Thursday, June 14, 2018 10:18AM EDT
Quebec is going to invoke closure to pass a law allowing La Presse to be operated as a non-profit organization.
Liberal house leader Jean-Marc Fournier announced the measure Thursday morning, and said the law would be passed by the end of the day.
The Liberals are using the extraordinary measure with the support of every party in the National Assembly, and because every clause in the bill has already been analyzed and debated at least once in the house.
Invoking closure means there will be a second question period Thursday afternoon so the bill can be debated for a final time before a vote.
Last month the newspaper said it wanted to become a non-profit, under new ownership, in order to save the business and be eligible for tax credits and other sources of funding.
The Parti Quebecois initially opposed the bill, but has said it will allow it to pass before the end of the legislative session on Friday.
However the move continues to be opposed by independent MNA Martine Ouellet, who said according to her sources La Presse is losing $25 million per year.
The change in status of La Presse requires the approval of the provincial government because of a 1967 law that governs the will of Trefflé Berthiaume, who owned the newspaper when he died more than 100 years ago.