In a bid to strengthen the Canadian publishing industry, the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) has teamed up with l’Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL) to launch an online letter writing campaign urging the Canadian government to increase the Canada Book Fund (CBF), which offers publishers support to promote the production of Canadian literature. The fund has been fixed for more than 20 years at C$39.1 million per year, of which C$30 million goes directly to support publishers; the organization provides support for some 125 small and midsize publishers.
In 2021, Canada's current Liberal government committed to providing as much as 50% additional funding to programs that support Canadian authors and book publishers through the Canada Book Fund, but this has not yet happened. Now, in an effort to hold the government accountable, the ACP and ANEL are calling on the public for support in making sure the government keeps its promise to the publishing sector in the upcoming 2024 budget. The associations are asking individuals to send a letter to their member of Canadian parliament, stating that publishers “play a vital role in sustaining a thriving Canadian publishing ecosystem and ensuring that Canadian stories continue to be published.”
The associations feel that the federal investment in book publishing has failed to keep pace with the evolving industry's needs, leading to adverse consequences for Canadian publishers. “The current federal investment in book publishing has not kept pace with the needs of an evolving industry, resulting in serious consequences for Canadian publishers,” the associations asserted in a press release announcing the letter writing campaign. “This lack of support from the federal government is creating an unstable environment that will have a negative ripple effect on the future of Canada’s publishing sector. If the government does not invest in Canadian stories, they will cease to be published.”
In recent years, the Canadian government has failed to act on a number of measures that have adversely impacted the country’s publishing sector, including a failure to strengthen the loose copyright laws that have been in place in Canada for nearly a decade, which have enabled the education sector to use books under a controversial fair use clause. The ACP and others estimate that this law has cost Canadian publishers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.