The Department of Canadian Heritage has announced that they are seeking input on proposed changes to the Publications Assistance Program, in addition to changes to the Canada Magazine Fund.
“This review is not considering whether the Government should fund magazines and non-daily newspapers,” Canadian Heritage notes in their discussion paper, “but how they should be funded. Having considered the current environment and the history of the programs, Canadian Heritage has developed a proposal for discussion during these consultations: the development of a new, combined program tentatively called the Canada Periodical Fund.”
Under the combined program, 95 percent of funding would be directed at aid to periodical publishers, with five percent going to collective initiatives. They also note that, “magazines and non-daily newspapers would both still be eligible for support.”
Numerous questions have been raised by Canadian Heritage as to the way the funding formula should be designed, and how the program can adapt to emerging technologies. The discussion paper specifically notes that “There may be an opportunity for changes to the programs to accommodate digital technologies in some way, but the Department needs input from these consultations on the proper role, if any, for government in this area.”
In response to the consultation, Canadian Community Newspapers Association CEO John Hinds said, “CCNA will be involved in the consultation process and is seeking changes to ensure stable and long-term support for community newspapers. We want to see funding for our industry that is not linked to funding for magazines, and is not necessarily linked to Canada Post.”
Hinds went on to add that the association will be seeking funding for total market coverage newspapers in small markets.
The redesign of the programs is meant to help the improve efficiency and will be assisted through roundtable meetings with selected individuals. Anyone can also provide comments by e-mail, fax or mail between January 24 and April 25, 2008.
Send comments by e-mail to email@example.com, by fax to (819) 994-3154, or to the address below. All comments must be received by April 25, 2008.
Periodical Publishing Policy
Department of Canadian Heritage
15 Eddy Street, 15-4-F
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M5
Read more on the consultation at the Canadian Heritage website, or read the discussion paper here.