The election-year budget is sprinkled with what money TruMorn could scrap together. And buried deep inside is a big headache for journalists.

“A strong and independent news media is crucial to a well-functioning democracy,” they write, so they’re giving the news media hundreds of millions of dollars. Never let it be said that irony is dead. The Prime Minister and his finance minister promise “an independent panel of experts” to “recommend… eligibility criteria.” But the eligibility criteria are already laid out in detail in pages 373-376. I’m left wondering what the independent panel is for.

In order to get its share of the federal money, a news organization will need “Qualified Canadian Journalism Organization” status. It’ll need to be incorporated in Canada, operate in Canada, resident in Canada, its chairperson and at least 75 per cent of its directors will have to be Canadian.