The Association Nationale des Editeurs de Livres (ANEL) and The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) have expressed their disappointment at the absence of new investment in the Canada Book Fund and continued inaction on copyright reform following the 2023 Budget announcement.
ACP has also expressed deep concern that with no signs of legislative reform on the horizon, the government’s promise will go unfulfilled for another year. ANEL urges the federal government to make changes to the Copyright Act so that it protects all creators and all copyright holders to ensure the survival of the industry.
In its 2021 election platform, the Liberal Party of Canada had committed to increasing the budget of the Canada Book Fund (CBF). The Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez also received a mandate letter from the Prime Minister.
“The Book Fund's permanent programs budget has not increased since 2001, which has eroded its value by more than 55%. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic and the current production challenges faced by book publishers, the Canadian government recognized the need to increase aid to publishing. It is discouraging that he is still slipping away from his commitments. The publishing industry can no longer stand being ignored by the Canadian government.”, said Jean-François Bouchard, president of the ANEL.
ACP President Ruth Linka added “Canadian book publishers play an essential role in Canada’s literary and education ecosystems and have contributed to building Canada’s reputation on the world stage. Though book publishers are by nature optimists, taking risks and investing in new authors and illustrators, new technologies and new markets each season, we are discouraged by the government’s apparent indifference to the realities of today’s marketplace. The erosion of the CBF and copyright will result in fewer Canadian books published, fewer jobs in Canadian communities, and more revenue flowing to multinational companies based outside our borders.”
ACP Executive Director Jack Illingworth added: “For more than fifty years, government policy and strategic investment has contributed to building an industry that is recognized around the world for the high quality of its work and as an essential vehicle for Canadian writing to reach readers. The neglect of key programs and policies that have contributed to that success is disappointing. The time for renewed investment, and for copyright reform, is now. We will continue to advocate for action on these issues to the government, which are key to the success of one of Canada’s most vital cultural industries.”