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News media advocacy group criticizes Canada Post flyer distribution plans

The Canada Post logo is seen on the outside the company's Pacific Processing Centre, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday June 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

OTTAWA — An advocacy group representing print and digital news media in Canada is criticizing Canada Post plans to expand its commercial flyer distribution service.

News Media Canada says Canada Post’s move to distribute packaged commercial flyers would “seriously harm” a primary revenue source for most newspapers.

The Canada Post strategy relies on an “unfair advantage,” namely the ability to access mail boxes in apartments and condos, the advocacy group says.

The group is asking the government to restrict Canada Post from using a tool given to them by the government to directly compete with local newspapers.

Newspapers have traditionally been the main delivery source for flyers that advertise products for local businesses, and the practice is a major revenue source for many media outlets.

News Media Canada is arguing the move by the Crown corporation runs counter to the recent direction the government has taken in providing support for news media.