Thursday, May 07, 2009

Panel says Canada Post shouldn't subsidize magazines

A preliminary scan of the final report of the strategic review panel looking into Canada Post reveals two recommendations that bear on Canadian magazines:
With respect to the Publications Assistance Program (PAP), the Advisory Panel understands that the current obligation placed upon Canada Post to contribute to the PAP subsidy for publications mailings expires in March 2009 (Canada Post’s PAP contribution is equal to approximately seven cents per copy mailed). The Panel believes that Canada Post’s PAP obligation should be allowed to expire.
Translation: Canada Post should no longer be required to contribute to a postal subsidy for Canadian magazines. Since it stopped, effective March 31, this is moot. Essentially, the panel says if Canadian Heritage wants the PAP program (or library rate or other initiatives) it should pay for them.
The Panel also recommends that distance-based pricing for publications mail be reviewed to ensure that rural Canada is not unduly affected by the consequences of this type of pricing structure for publications mail.
Translation: The panel questions the fairness of distance-based pricing, feels it could have a big effect, particularly on rural subscribers, and they're not sure that the political heat will be worth it. Whether Canada Post sees it that way seems doubtful.
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