Applying to the Canada Periodical Fund: Your questions answered

On April 1, 2010, the Department of Canadian Heritage will officially launch the Canada Periodical Fund, a funding program to replace the Publications Assistance Program (PAP) and Canada Magazine Fund.

In January, publishers of newspapers currently in the PAP received an application form for the Canada Periodical Fund. The application is a simplified version that must be completed and submitted by February 19, 2010, in order to expedite the approval process as well as the calculation and dissemination of funds.

CCNA asked Scott Shortliffe, director of the Canada Periodical Fund, a few questions about the new program.

Q: What is the application process for current PAP users? For past PAP users and new applicants?

A: Community newspapers and magazines who have recently been reviewed and approved in the Publications Assistance Program (PAP) will be listed on the Canada Periodical Fund – Aid to Publishers website, and sent a special form to apply for funding in 2010-2011. Since these files will have been recently reviewed, we are not asking publishers to duplicate the work of filling out a full application. Rather, they will be asked to fill out a simple form indicating that they meet eligibility criteria and that they wish to apply for funding from the Canada Periodical Fund.

There will also be a full application form. Any new applicants, past recipients, or titles which have not been approved in the PAP or Canada Magazine Fund, or about which the program has questions, will be free to apply by using the full application form.

The application deadline will be February 19, 2010.

For more information on how to apply, please visit the Canada Periodical Fund webpage at:

Q: How long will applicants have to wait before learning whether their application has been approved?

A: The Publications Assistance Program will cease operations as of March 31, 2010. It is to minimize the gap between the end of one program and the launch of the new program that we are taking applications now. We hope to announce funding decisions as soon as possible in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

Q: Through PAP, publishers received their subsidy as a direct deduction off of their postage bill with every mailing. Because Canada Post will not be directly involved in the CPF, current PAP users are concerned about higher postage bills. What are the CPF's plans to ensure timely payment of the subsidy?

A: As previously noted, we are taking applications now, and have created an expedited process for 2010-2011 which will allow most recipients to simply fill in a short form to request CPF funding. We believe that these measures will allow us to quickly process files. While there may be a gap between the end of the PAP postal subsidy on March 31, 2010, and the distribution of funds under the CPF, the Department of Canadian Heritage is committed to keeping that gap as small as possible. The more cooperation we have from the industry in meeting our deadline of February 19, the greater our capacity will be to have funding approved quickly after the start of the 2010-2011 financial year.

Q: Under the CPF, paid copies distributed via mail or other means will be eligible for subsidy. How much can CPF users expect to receive?

A: In the Aid to Publishers component, the amount of funding that a publisher might receive is determined by a mathematical formula. The formula divides the total budget among all participating publications based on each publication’s share of the total number of eligible copies distributed during one year. For example, a publication responsible for 2% of the total number of copies distributed by all of the part