News Media Canada today calls on the federal party leaders to commit to restricting Canada Post’s plans to expand its flyer distribution using an unfair advantage provided to them by the government.
Canada Post has plans to begin distributing packaged commercial flyers in direct competition with local newspapers. Canada Post is using its ability to access lock boxes in apartments and condos as part of its marketing of the plan.
This action is taking place at the same time that the government has expressed its concern for the future of the news media industry and is making significant investments to ensure its survival.
“While the government has taken a number of significant steps to support the industry, its own agency, Canada Post, is embarking on a plan that will seriously harm one of the main revenue sources for Canada’s newspapers,” says John Hinds, president and CEO of News Media Canada.
“At a time when our industry is knee-deep in transition, this deliberate undercutting of one of newspapers’ foundational revenue pillars by a federal Crown Corporation is very troubling. It is of particular concern that they are doing it unfairly by using their privileged access to customer’s mail boxes.”
This is not the first time that Canada Post would be restricted from unfair competition in the flyer business. In 1997, the federal government limited the ability of the post office to deliver flyers when the Radwanski Report showed they were engaged in inappropriate practices. Since that time, Canada Post has been moving back into the business.
The rollout of this plan by Canada Post comes as the Government of Quebec announced plans to release support measures for the industry in light of the problems faced by Groupe Capitales Médias.
News Media Canada is asking all of the party leaders to build on the existing measures to support Canada’s news media industry and to restrict unfair competition by a Crown Corporation.
For more information, please contact:
John Hinds, President and CEO