The impact of the huge increases in recycling fees for magazines in Quebec has translated into a quarterly loss for its largest pulishing group, TVA Group Inc. According to a story in the Montreal Gazette, the company, which is the publishing division of Quebecor Media, had a loss of $1.66 a share in Q1, largely because of an impairment charge of $32.2 million logged to cover waste recovery fees for 2010, 2011 and 2012.
President and CEO Pierre Dion said the new fees applied to magazines are arbitrary and “legally invalid.”
“They seriously compromise the financial viability and stability of an industry that makes a positive contribution to the cultural sector of our society,” Dion said in a statement.
The province of Quebec increased its charges for the Blue Box recycling program last June and, according to Magazines Canada calculations, publishers will see payments up about 340% in 2012, the year the industry is being expected to cover 90% of the costs of recycling magazines.“We are currently examining the legal remedies available to ensure that our rights are respected.”
The fees being charged to Quebec publishers are approximately seven times what is charged in Ontario and, under Bill 88, they can no longer use contra advertising to pay for their fees. The whole issue of U.S. and foreign magazines paying nothing towards the program has yet to be addressed.