The Township of McKellar (pop 1,419) is asking the Province to amend the Legislation Act to change the definition of newspaper to include digital only publications.

Provincial laws and regulations require municipalities to purchase public notices in newspapers, which are defined in the Legislation Act as a publication “printed in sheet form, published at regular intervals of a week or less and circulated to the general public.” [emphasis added]

Increasingly, many communities no longer have printed weekly newspapers.

The Parry Sound North Star is among the 71 Metroland publications that are no longer print publications, following the decision of Metroland’s parent company to bankrupt its community newspapers.

Ontario’s newspaper lobby has successfully stopped past amendments to the Act that would allow municipalities to advertise on the websites of digital only news site such as Village Media’s dozens of local publications. [The newspaper lobby made sure Village Media’s websites (and this website) were included in the sites Facebook and Google are required to block due to Bill C18.]

McKellar is asking Ontario’s 443 other municipalities to join them in requesting the change.

The Province has not yet responded to McKellar’s request.