Friday, April 25, 2008

Feds announce panel to review mandate, responsibilities of Canada Post

In an announcement that may have implications for the magazine industry in this country, the federal government has launched a limited review of Canada Post. The Minister responsible for Canada Post, Lawrence Cannon, announced the appointment of a three-member independent advisory panel, headed by Dr. Robert Campbell, President of Mount Allison University. The other panelists are Mrs. Nicole Beaudoin and Daniel H. Bader. It is to complete its review by December 2008. Interested parties are asked to submit their comments by September 2, 2008. The review is limited to consultations with key stakeholder groups (like magazine associations) and receiving individual briefs. There are no plans for cross-country hearings.

The review focuses on four areas:
  • market and competition;
  • public policy objectives and responsibilities;
  • commercial activities; and
  • financial and performance targets.
The review is to be guided by four, key principles:
• Canada Post will not be privatized and will remain a Crown corporation;
• Canada Post must maintain a universal, effective and economically viable postal service;
• Canada Post will continue to act as an instrument of public policy through the provision of postal services to Canadians; and
• Canada Post will continue to operate in a commercial environment and is expected to attain a realistic rate of return on equity.
Magazines Canada and other interested observers have expressed concern that CPC has wandered too far from its policy responsibilities in recent years. This is particularly true for magazines. Large postal rate increases in recent years and its abandonment of the Publications Assistance Program (PAP) have demonstrated a disregard for its continuing public policy responsibilities, the organization said.

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