National Library Association Continues to Urge Support for Private Member’s Bill

OTTAWA (September 30, 2010) The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is pleased with the progress of Bill C-509, an Act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act to provide for the long-term, sustainable provision of the reduced rate of postage for library materials.
The Bill, introduced by Merv Tweed, Member of Parliament for Brandon—Souris, Manitoba, will protect the Library Book Rate available through Canada Post and is currently at second reading in the House of Commons.

The Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport) and Merv Tweed joined CLA today on Parliament Hill to deliver remarks on the Bill.
“As the Minister responsible for Canada Post, I am keenly aware of the benefits of the Library Book Rate and its history,” said Minister Merrifield. “I am here today to proudly state that our Government is proud to support literacy and our libraries across the country, both urban and rural, and that our government will strongly support Mr. Tweed’s Bill.”

“Over 2,000 libraries actively use the Library Book Rate and an estimated one million Canadians benefit from it annually,” added Tweed. “It is clear that many Canadians will benefit from an expanded Library Book Rate and I am happy to acknowledge our government’s support of this Bill.”
With increased public visibility and the help of Canadians, this Bill has received widespread support from all Members of Parliament.
“We are thrilled to see support from all sides and we hope to continue this momentum as the Bill moves through the various stages,” commented CLA Executive Director, Kelly Moore. “Members of the library community continue to be concerned about the sustainability of the Library Book Rate, which contributes to the public policy goals of literacy, lifelong learning, inclusion, and vibrant communities.”

The Library Book Rate is a Canada Post service that has, since 1939, provided a reduced rate for mailing library books between libraries and from libraries to their users. Canada Post currently reviews its support on an annual basis.

Bill C-509 would provide that the Government of Canada support a concessionary postal rate for Canada’s public libraries, thus guaranteeing the long-term sustainability of the program. The legislation would also expand the Library Book Rate program to include non-print materials such as CDs, CD-ROMS, and DVDs.

The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques (CLA) is Canada’s largest national and broad-based library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, professional librarians and library workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy.

For more information, please contact Alana Fontaine, CLA Public Affairs: Telephone (613) 233-8906

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