New data from Statistics Canada revealed Canadians rate the media as less trustworthy than politicians or the police.According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the decline in confidence in the integrity of journalists happened at the same time as implementation of a $595 million bailout, which critics had cautioned could contribute to public skepticism.Asked, “Using a scale of one to five where one means ‘no confidence at all’ and five means ‘a great deal of confidence,’ how much confidence do you have in the Canadian media?” less than a third of Canadians nationwide, 31%, expressed a “good or great deal of confidence in media.”In comparison, Canadians were more inclined to trust other institutions, with 32% expressing trust in Parliament, 46% in the courts, 47% in the school system and 62% in the police. These findings were from Canadian Social Survey questionnaires.The survey did not ask about different types of media. Trust ratings for the media as a whole were as low as 23% among Canadians aged 25 to 34, and only a quarter of residents in the Prairie region expressed trust in the media.Canadians with a “good or great deal of confidence” in reporters numbered as few as 24% in Alberta, followed by Manitoba (25%), Saskatchewan (29%), Ontario and New Brunswick (30%), British Columbia and Nova Scotia (31%), Newfoundland and Labrador (33%), Québec (39%) and Prince Edward Island (42%).The decline in ratings coincided with Parliament's 2019 amendments to the Income Tax Act, which provided $595 million in subsidies to publishers approved by the cabinet.“As to independence of media and journalists, there are always concerns,” Pascale St-Onge, then-president of the Fédération Nationale des Communications of Montréal, testified at 2019 hearings of the Commons Heritage committee.“The media, the publishers, they are always beholden to the advertisers,” testified St-Onge. She is currently the Minister of Canadian Heritage responsible for the bailout program.Anthony Furey, a Toronto Sun columnist at the time, testified that the bailout had a negative impact.“Canadians are wary of the idea that their government would somehow favour, influence or direct the media,” said Furey. “If the impression is left to linger that the government is forking over cash grants to their journalist buddies, trust in media will only plummet further.”Media analysts who testified during the 2022 Commons Heritage committee hearings echoed these concerns.“Canadians are expressing unprecedented distrust towards the news and the reporters who deliver it,” said Jeanette Ageson, publisher of the Vancouver news site The Tyee. “Canadians need to know who is funding the news they receive and on what terms.”“Trust in Canada’s media has never been lower,” testified Peter Menzies, former Calgary Herald editor-in-chief. Confidential subsidy terms with publishers fuelled public mistrust, he said.“The more government assistance news media gets, the more broken the relationship with readers becomes,” said Menzies. “The more that relationship is broken, the more subsidy will be required.”The Western Standard does not accept government money.