The Curious Case Of Maclean’s Government Grants

As the Liberals prepare to expand the Canada Periodical Fund, we look at the vagaries of an opaque system.

According to figures disclosed by Canadian Heritage, Rogers Media’s Maclean’s magazine received virtually the same amount of government funding in 2017 as it had for years past, despite cutting nearly three quarters of its print issues at the start of that year.

For the annual funding cycle running from April 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018, Maclean’s was given a $1,492,069 grant from the Aid to Publishers program of the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF). That was just slightly less than the $1.5 million it had received in each of the previous six cycles, when it was a weekly magazine with approximately 44 issues per year. Last January, it had dropped down to a monthly.

The reason, according to Heritage spokesperson Jon Schofield, is that because of its high circulation, “Maclean’s could have received significantly more than $1.5 million in previous years, ‎if the program’s maximum of financial assistance had been higher. In 2017-2018, due to reduced paid circulation, the awarded amount is less than the maximum amount of financial assistance.”