(Quebec) The caucus of deputies of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) has decided: the party will not pay Meta, the parent company of the social networks Facebook and Instagram, in order to carry out advertising placements as part of the by-election in the riding of Jean-Talon, in Quebec.
François Legault confirmed that the final decision was taken during the caucus of party deputies on Wednesday. The Prime Minister also harshly criticized the Liberal Party, but especially Québec solidaire (QS), suggesting that it should change its name. The two parties announced that they would maintain advertising placements on the web giant’s platforms, despite the Californian company blocking news content in the country in response to the new federal law on online news.
“I think we can win this battle. I look at what happened in Australia, they managed to convince Meta to give hundreds of millions to the media. I think we can (therefore) win, but the important thing is to be united,” said Mr. Legault.
“It’s still special that Québec solidaire is not united… I wonder if they shouldn’t change their name,” added the Prime Minister, while the columnist of The PressIsabelle Hachey, published a column on Thursday with the title “Québec desolidaire”.
QS defends itself
The parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, and members of his caucus have been denying for several days a lack of solidarity with the Quebec media. According to them, symbolic gestures are not enough to make the American company bend. They say that the government must instead take even stronger measures.
In a press scrum on Thursday, solidarity MP Andrés Fontecilla affirmed that “it is not up to individuals (and) organizations to force Meta to invest in the media in Quebec. It has to be government action,” he said.
The Professional Federation of Journalists of Quebec (FPJQ), including journalists from The Press are members, announced last week that information artisans and public relations professionals will join forces on September 15 to denounce the blocking of news on Facebook and Instagram.
“On September 15, the public is invited not to share anything on the Facebook and Instagram platforms and to subscribe to a Quebec media outlet or to a newsletter from a local media outlet. Such a gesture will send a strong message: Quebec will not be intimidated and will continue to support local journalists and media,” declared the FPJQ.