As a result of a successful lobbying campaign by the Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) and its member newspapers, the Government of Canada today announced that it has directed Canada Post Corporation to continue its annual $15-million commitment to the Publications Assistance Program (PAP) for the next two years. The directive also requires that Canada Post ÔÇ£restore and maintain mail delivery to rural roadside mailboxes within the next 18 months.ÔÇØ
The viability of the program was in question when Canada Post publicly stated their intention to withdraw their $15-million contribution as of April 1, 2007.
PAP is an important program for the close to 350 community newspapers that receive subsidies to defray mailing costs.
PAP is administered by the Department of Canadian Heritage and has an annual budget of $65 million. Traditionally, $15 million of that money has come from Canada Post.
Over the past few months, CCNA has met with numerous government officials, Members of Parliament, and Ministers.
CCNA Chief Executive Officer John Hinds said, ÔÇ£This is a strong gesture of support for our industry from the federal government. I would particularly like to thank Minister of Canadian Heritage Bev Oda for her understanding and assistance.ÔÇØ
The directive also states that there will be government consultation with industry stakeholders to help the long-term sustainability of the program.
The directive is online: http://www.tc.gc.ca/mediaroom/releases/nat/2006/06-h178e.htm