Canadian official urges editors to mobilize

June 7, 2018
Kansas Press Association -- Image

Stephane Lessard has a simple message for editors and publishers: become more vocal in your opposition to the tariffs on newsprint.

Lessard said the Trump administration's decision to embrace protectionism will cost jobs in both Canada and the United States.

Lessard, who works as consul general in the office of the Consulate General of Canada in Denver, dropped by the Kansas Press Association office Tuesday to seek KPA's continued assistance with the STOPP campaign.

He encouraged newspapers to be vocal and tell their stories about how higher newsprint costs are hurting their business.

Through the consulate in Denver, Lessard represents Canada in five states: Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Montana.

Lessard said the tariffs have the potential to hurt all newspapers, but especially community newspapers, because the increase in printing costs has all but wiped out profits.

"Now, it's real," he said. "If people don't get ginned up now, things will get worse."

Lessard said it doesn't make any sense to jeopardize thousands of jobs in the U.S. to save a few jobs because a New York-based hedge fund got the president's ear.

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