The Competition Bureau told Transcontinental it must put 34 weekly community newspapers up for sale to maintain healthy competition for advertising sales in local Quebec markets. 

By Tamara Baluja, Associate Editor

The Competition Bureau told Transcontinental it must put 34 weekly community newspapers up for sale to maintain healthy competition for advertising sales in local Quebec markets.

The condition is part of a larger deal approved by the Competition Bureau in which Transcontinental agreed to buy 74 papers from its rival Quebecor last year.

"The Bureau understands that many communities are concerned and do not want to lose their local newspaper,” said John Pecman, commissioner of competition, in a press release, adding that the bureau considered the “financial distress” and “ongoing transformation of the community newspaper industry.”


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The 34 newspapers, some of which are part of that $75-million sale, will be offered for sale for 60 days by an independent party with no minimum price.

"We are pleased with this decision, which allows us to close the transaction and combine the strengths of both companies," said François Olivier, president and CEO of Transcontinental, in a press release. "We are enthusiastic that we will soon be able to welcome the employees of the Sun Media weekly newspapers in Quebec. Despite having to put some weekly newspapers up for sale, this transaction will add about $20 million to the operating earnings before amortization of Transcontinental Inc. and further advance the local multiplatform offering for businesses and communities."

Here are the newspapers that Transcontinental will put up for sale:

Transcontinental Inc.

  • Abitibi Express (Rouyn-Noranda)
  • Abitibi Express (Val d'Or)
  • Chambly Express (Chambly)
  • Châteauguay Express (Châteauguay)
  • Courrier du Saguenay, including its regional editions: Courrier du FjordCourrier de Jonquière and Courrier de Chicoutimi
  • Édition Beauce Nord (Sainte-Marie)
  • Point de vue Laurentides (Mont-Tremblant)
  • Rive-Sud Express (Longueuil)
  • Roussillon Express (La Prairie)
  • Sorel-Tracy Express (Sorel-Tracy)
  • Vallée du Richelieu Express (Mont-Saint-Hilaire)
  • Valleyfield Express (Valleyfield)

Sun Media

  • Agri-Vallée (Valleyfield)
  • La Voix de la Matanie (Matane)
  • La Voix Gaspésienne (Matane)
  • L'Écho de Laval (Laval)
  • L'Écho de la Rive-Nord (Sainte-Thérèse)
  • L'Écho de Repentigny (Repentigny)
  • L'Écho de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu)
  • L'Écho de Shawinigan (Shawinigan)
  • L'Écho de Trois-Rivières (Trois-Rivières)
  • L'Écho de Victoriaville (Victoriaville)
  • L'Écho du Nord (Saint-Jérôme)
  • Le Courrier du Fleuve (Rimouski)
  • Le Journal de Joliette (Joliette)
  • Le Journal de Magog (Magog)
  • Le Journal de Saint-Hubert (Saint-Hubert)
  • Le Point du Lac-Saint-Jean (Saint-Félicien)
  • Le Progrès Écho (Rimouski)
  • Le Réveil (Saguenay)
  • Le Rimouskois (Rimouski)
  • Le Riverain (Sainte-Anne-des-Monts)
  • L'Impact de Drummondville (Drummondville)
  • Pub Extra Magazine (Laval-Laurentides)

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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.