Pub Mail threshold lowered

Lobbying by the Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) and its members has led the Canada Post Corporation to lower their previously announced 250-piece threshold for Publications Mail.

A letter sent from Canada Post to CCNA on March 24 stated the change would be effective April 1 and was a result of ÔÇ£feedback we received from some of our customers.ÔÇØ

“It represents significant savings for our members,” said Hinds.

As a part of the new guidelines announced by Canada Post at the end of 2003, a new threshold was placed on the Publications Mail program of 250 pieces.  CCNA representatives immediately contacted Canada Post when word came of the new guidelines and representatives from both organizations have been in negogiations ever since.

For many members, the new threshold required them to mail at a first-class mailing rate if they wished to send their newspapers to out-of-area subscribers. Due to the increase in costs, many members had decided, Hinds said, to simply “cut off” those mailings.

“This was a real burden for them,” Hinds said.

Originally, CCNA had been hoping for a moratorium on the 250-piece threshold and to see its eventual removal by Canada Post. Hinds acknowledged that the 50-piece threshold will still cause problems for some CCNA members; however, he sees the lowering of the threshold as a good sign for the industry.

“We are making inroads with Canada Post,” said Hinds. “They’re starting to understand what we need as businesses to move forward.”

Hinds called the change a compliment to the “personal relationships” members of the CCNA’s Distribution Committee have developed with Canada Post during their discussions. These relationships are leading Canada Post to understand that what is good for CCNA members is often good for them.

In the aftermath of the Canada Post changes, Hinds said CCNA has learned the value of “good intelligence.ÔÇØ He has found members of the association are very up-to-date about what is going on with Canada Post across the country and encourages members to pass along news of any potential developments to the CCNA head office.

“We can’t rely on Ottawa telling us everything,” said Hinds.