CPF Update: New Aid to Publishers funding formula beginning in 2011-2012

Canadian Heritage has announced that it is implementing a new funding formula for the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) starting in the current fiscal year, 2011-2012. Grant money provided under the Aid to Publishers (ATP) component of CPF will be distributed based on success in reaching readers, not on postal or editorial costs, as was the case with its predecessor, the Publications Assistance Program.

Earlier this year, the federal government announced its continued commitment to the CPF through the renewal of $15 million in the June 2011 federal budget, bringing the total program budget to $75 million.

While there is no reduction in the program’s total funding, a letter issued by Canadian Heritage explains that under the new formula, almost all eligible publishers will see changes to their funding for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. A third of the recipients will see their funding amounts change by more than 50 percent. Most publications will receive a nominal increase comparable to previous years, and a few will receive large increases. However, some publications will experience a decrease.

To help newspapers adjust to these changes, Canadian Heritage is implementing a three-year transition plan. Funding amounts under the new formula will not be in full effect in 2011-2012, but in three years, all factors being equal. Publications with lower funding will see their decrease implemented over the three years, and their funding will not drop more than 35% in the first year. Details on the transition plan, timing of payments and funding estimates can be found in the Aid to Publishers Fact Sheet for 2011-2012.

For this year only, payments will be issued in two installments. According to the Fact Sheet, recipients will receive letters in early September 2011 indicating their funding amounts based on the transition plan. The first payment of 79% of the total will be made in September 2011 and the remaining 21% will be paid in early 2012.

Newspapers Canada is examining the new formula and its implications for members. We will continue to update members with information as it becomes available via email and on our website. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please contact chief executive officer John Hinds at jhinds@newspaperscanada.ca.