Conservative MP Martin Shields castigated the government for advertising on foreign social media while local independent outlets go begging. “The government has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into foreign online advertising giants Facebook and Google, not local, independent, southern Alberta-owned weekly papers, like the Brooks Bulletin, Strathmore Times, The Chestermere Anchor and the Crowsnest Pass Herald,” the Alberta MP told the House of Commons on Wednesday. Often these weeklies cannot fulfill the definitions that would make them eligible for government ads, he alleged. They also miss out on labour tax credits and subscription tax credits, he added. Under the criteria of bill C-18, currently before the Commons, these newspapers are not able to receive funds from the social media giants, he asserted. “Weekly papers play an important role in municipalities to inform residents in our communities. We should be supporting Canadian weekly papers, not leaving them behind in favour of billion-dollar conglomerates,” Shields said.