The Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) has been working with members on the changes to the Publications Assistance Program (PAP). Many of our members have been asking questions about the nature of the changes to the program. Below are answers prepared by Canadian Heritage to some of those questions. If you have any further inquiries, please contact CCNA Executive Director John Hinds at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Why is the Publications Assistance Program changing?
As part of the ongoing monitoring of programs, funding amounts reflect current needs and market conditions, and ensures the best and most responsible use of public funds.
How do I know if I am still eligible?
All publications that were no longer eligible for assistance have been informed by mail. If you have recently changed your mailing address, you may contact the program to find out if your status has changed.
What do I have to do?
The Publications Assistance Program has introduced a three-year re-application cycle for publications currently receiving postal assistance. The three year cycle will require that two (2) annual attestations, and one (1) full re-application, be received from publications currently receiving the postal subsidy. This measure was introduced to ensure existing
Publications Assistance Program recipients continue to meet the eligibility criteria, and current information is on file for monitoring and audit purposes.
On September 25, 2003, the Publications Assistance Program staff mailed out the first re-application packages to approximately 370 community newspaper publications receiving postal assistance. The Publications Assistance Program recipients have been asked to complete and/or update the information on these forms. The completed forms are to be returned to the Program by November 7, 2003.
The remaining re-application mailing schedule is as follows:
Paid Circulation – General and Special Interest (approx. 425) January 2004
Paid Circulation – Remaining Special Interest (approx. 425) April 2004
What if I have never received postal assistance before? Is the process the same?
The process has remained the same. After you apply to the program your application will go through the assessment process. You will receive correspondence from the program indicating if your application has been accepted or not. If you have been accepted, the Publications Assistance Program will notify Canada Post and will also forward instructions to you as to how to begin accessing the postal assistance rate.
The Publications Assistance Program accepts new applicants throughout the year ÔÇô there is no deadline to apply. However, first time applicants should speak with a program officer to ensure that the correct application form is filled out. Call the Program toll-free at 1-800-641-9221.
Why do you need my financial statements?
Requesting general business information (including financial statements) to assist in the assessment of a funding request is standard practise at Canadian Heritage.
Who will have access to the information I provide?
The proprietary information you provide related to your business is viewed by Canadian Heritage staff during the assessment of your file and also provides intelligence on the industry, which in turn, helps us to make better-informed decisions. This information is protected ÔÇô and not available to the general public or other applicants. Canadian Heritage will release the names of those publishers that receive funding, as is standard practise.