Monday, July 28, 2008

Magazines Canada recommends a new deal with Canada Post

A federal panel reviewing the operations of Canada Post has met with a Magazines Canada delegation and the message the panel heard was that Canadian magazines want to be delivered by the post office, if they get a fair shake. Delivering magazines by mail is not an accident, the panel was told, but the result of 150 years of federal government policy.

According to a release from the magazine association, a series of key submissions were made at the meeting last Thursday:
  • There should be a “postal contract” between Canada Post and the Federal Government which clarifies the crown corporation’s roles and responsibilities.
  • An independent regulator should be created to ensure compliance with the “postal contract” and provide for arbitration of disputes.
  • Lettermail Rates should rise with actual delivery costs.
  • Rate increases should be transparent, timely and predictable.
  • Competition should be introduced in magazine delivery.
  • Distance- Related Pricing should be put on hold pending the Panel’s report.

Canada is a huge land mass with a dispersed and relatively small population [the release said]. Few other jurisdictions in the world face the same challenges in moving mail and magazines.

From an industry point of view, our proximity to the US magazine and entertainment industry is a truly unique situation found no where else in the world. This has been a defining aspect of magazine policy for years and for good reason. The US is the world’s largest exporter of magazines and Canada is its largest export market.
The three-member independent advisory panel, headed by Dr. Robert Campbell, President of Mount Allison University,was set up in April. The other panelists are Mrs. Nicole Beaudoin and Daniel H. Bader. It is to complete its review by December 2008.

The Magazines Canada delegation that was invited to meet the panel were:
  • Terry Sellwood, General Manager, Quarto Communications, publishers of Cottage Life and explore magazines, and Vice Chair, Magazines Canada;
  • François Blondin, Business Manager, Production & Information Technology, Transcontinental Media and Chair, Magazines Canada Postal Committee;
  • Michael Fox, Senior Vice President, Rogers Media Publishing and member of the Magazines Canada Public Affairs Committee;
  • Mark Jamison, CEO, Magazines Canada; and
  • Jim Everson, Executive Director, Public Affairs, Magazines Canada.



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