In December 2020, Montreal-based La Presse became one of the first media outlets in Canada to obtain registered journalism organization (RJO) status.
The special status, introduced by the federal government and granted by the Canada Revenue Agency, is intended to provide alternative funding options for news organizations hit hard by declining revenues, enabling them to fund themselves through donations.
Lavery had the privilege of helping La Presse reorganize its corporate structure, so it could meet all the criteria for the designation and enjoy advantages such as tax-exempt status and the ability to issue donation receipts.
We also represented La Presse in talks with the Canada Revenue Agency, emphasizing the distinct nature of a mass media outlet like La Presse and the highly competitive environment in which the organization operates. As a result of our representations, La Presse was able to secure RJO status.
La Presse subsequently sought our guidance on establishing new governance rules to meet its obligations as an RJO and on creating a second social utility trust.