The National Assembly filed its lawsuit against Quebecor for “unlawful occupation” of its premises at the Press Gallery.

“Following several months of unsuccessful discussions and negotiations with Quebecor Media Inc. (QMI), and faced with the lack of payment for the occupation of premises in the André-Laurendeau building, the National Assembly of Quebec finds itself obliged to go to court to enforce its rights and collect the rent amounts owed to him. »

Quebecor has no longer paid rent for its journalists who are members of the Press Tribune for ten months. The parliamentary administration is trying to recover the debt accumulated by the telecommunications and media giant, which reached $61,594 last February, according to a formal notice that La Presse obtained.

Behind parliament, the André-Laurendeau building houses 52 accredited information workers, including a dozen from the Journal de Québec, the Journal de Montréal and the TVA television network. Owner of these media, Quebecor, however, stopped paying rent for the offices they occupy in August 2023, citing the “serious crisis” due to the web giants, who have monopolized “more than 80% of advertising revenue”.

In its press release on Monday, the National Assembly affirmed that this situation “creates inequity compared to other media occupying premises at the National Assembly”.

According to what the institution suggests, Quebecor did not respect an agreement reached with it as part of talks to reduce the space occupied by its journalists and reimburse the amounts owed.

“Since then, QMI has occupied premises without rights and neglected to pay arrears and conclude a lease,” affirms the National Assembly.

As its press release was issued after the courthouses closed, La Presse was unable to get its hands on the lawsuit filed. We therefore do not know whether it requires the expulsion of Quebecor journalists as tenants.

In the formal notice that La Presse obtained, the National Assembly demanded payment from Quebecor before February 29.

“The National Assembly specifies that this dispute concerns the use of premises occupied by QMI and in no way prevents journalists from accessing parliamentary work,” said Monday’s press release. It is the Press Gallery of the Parliament of Quebec, an organization independent of the National Assembly, which recommends the accreditation of a person so that they can benefit from access authorized or reserved for journalists. »