Monday, July 28, 2008

Magazines Canada's Recommendations to Canada Post

A delegation from Magazines Canada met with a federal panel reviewing Canada Post's operations and made recommendations on how Canada Post can ensure a continued mutually beneficial relationship with the magazine industry. Here are the key recommendations the delegation made, along with more information about the review from Magazines Canada's Cover Lines:

1. There should be a “postal contract” between Canada Post and the Federal Government which clarifies the crown corporation’s roles and responsibilities.

2. An independent regulator should be created to ensure compliance with the “postal contract” and provide for arbitration of disputes.

3. Lettermail Rates should rise with actual delivery costs

4. Rate increases should be transparent, timely and predictable

5. Competition should be introduced in magazine delivery

6. Distance- Related Pricing should be put on hold pending the Panel’s report.

The delegation pointed out that the Canadian magazine industry’s very substantial reliance on Canada Post did not happen by accident. Building a reliable ‘Canadian’ distribution system, with Canada Post at its centre, has been federal policy for over 150 years.

Noting the interest in the postal services of other jurisdictions as possible models for the future, the delegation stressed two points that make Canada unique in some important ways:

Canada is a huge land mass with a dispersed and relatively small population. 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.

Magazines Canada will certainly welcome learning from the postal experiences of other countries but underlines the need to ensure that Canada’s differences are fully taken into account.

Magazines Canada will provide a comprehensive submission to the panel by September 2008 that it will also release to members.

The delegation included Terry Sellwood, General Manager, Quarto Communications, publishers of Cottage Life and explore magazines, and Vice Chair, Magazines Canada; Fran├žois 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.

For more information, contact Mark Jamison, CEO, Magazines Canada at