Community newspaper publishers who applied for assistance through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) are breathing a sigh of relief, having received acceptance letters from the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Shouldering the full load of distribution costs since the Publications Assistance Program (PAP) ended on March 31, publishers have been waiting for confirmation since participating in an application process in February that was marred by confusion and aggressive timelines. Acceptance letters were mailed out last week from the office of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage, with the amount each publication is to receive. Cheques have also been mailed out, and publications are receiving between 90 and 150 percent of last year's amounts. The only exceptions to this are the few Canadian magazines who are now capped at $1.5 million (with the notable exemption to farm publications) and magazines with less than 5000 paid circulation per year, which have been eliminated from the program.
April 1, 2010, marked the debut of the Canada Periodical Fund, which replaced the now defunct Publications Assistance Program following the withdrawal of Canada Post Corporation from the program.
Over 90 percent of CCNA-member PAP recipients filed their applications on time and were accepted into the program. A successful lobbying effort by CCNA resulted in the minister granting a one-time special dispensation to allow some members who were unable to meet the deadline to submit their applications.
CCNA is now turning its eye toward the $2-million Collective Initiatives component of the CPF, which has been designed to support industry associations and is currently accepting project-based applications. CCNA and its regional partners are looking into submitting a proposal for funding for national readership research.
For more information about the Canada Periodical Fund, visit www.pch.gc.ca/cpf.
Eileen Barak is the director of government affairs for the Canadian Community Newspapers Association and is based in Ottawa. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.