Montreal Gazette and National Post no longer being delivered to Quebec City
'I can't see myself sitting down on the chair and fiddling around with a machine,' says 88-year-old reader
Readers of the Montreal Gazette and the National Post in the provincial capital region will no longer be able to find a print version of the newspapers as of Dec. 1 in Quebec City.
The Postmedia papers, which have been delivered in a combined edition for some time, used to be delivered by Groupe Capitales Médias, which owns Quebec City's Le Soleil.
This summer the French-language newspaper chain announced it was seeking bankruptcy protection.
And earlier this month, some Gazette subscribers were given a notice by Le Soleil advising them it would no longer be delivering the papers.
Lucinda Chodan, the Gazette's editor-in-chief, said about 125 newspapers were delivered to residential subscribers in the Quebec City area every day and around 175 to businesses and organizations, including the National Assembly.
Eighty-eight-year-old Dave Blinko is one of the 125 people who received the paper to his home, a residence for seniors in Quebec City.
"It's kind of a shocker," Blinko told CBC. "It's more or less my baby."
He said he received a call this week from the Gazette, advising him he wouldn't be receiving the paper anymore.
Newspapers have played a big part in Blinko's life. He grew up in the small community of Grand-Mère, which is now part of Shawinigan, north of Trois-Rivières, and delivered the Montreal Star as a "young fellow."
"Everything was paper," he said, adding his father worked at the local pulp and paper mill, which sold paper to the Chicago Tribune at the time.
The Gazette's Chodan says readers can still read the paper on its website. They can also access a digital version of the physical paper — with the same layout as the print version — online.
But Blinko says he doesn't use computers, and he and his wife can't see well enough to read on the screen.
88-year-old reader mourns loss of Gazette in Quebec City
Besides, "I don't believe in that," he said. "I can't see myself sitting down on the chair and fiddling around with a machine. You know, I like my old paper."
Chodan says Postmedia's distribution department tried to find other ways to get the paper, which is printed in Montreal, to Quebec City, but that "the cost of doing that would be in the six-figure range."
"This has to do with the inability of finding a partner," to deliver the paper, she said.
"We'd love to come back to Quebec City. There are readers who want to read the Montreal Gazette in print in Quebec City. They are a small but fiercely loyal group."
In the meantime, Blinko says he's bought a subscription to the Globe and Mail.
When asked what she thought the end to the paper's distribution in the provincial capital said about the state of print news in Quebec, Chodan said Quebec isn't the only place feeling the pinch.
"It isn't a Quebec problem, it's an international problem. Fewer and fewer people are reading print editions of newspapers," she said.
With files from CBC Quebec reporter Julia Page