Canadian Library Association Celebrates Bill C-321 Receiving Royal
OTTAWA (June 19,
2013) The Canadian Library Association (CLA) was thrilled to learn today
that Bill C-321, An Act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act
(library materials) received Royal Assent.
Conservative Member of Parliament Merv Tweed (Brandon—Souris, MB),
Bill C-321 helps protect the existing reduced rate for postage on
library materials between libraries and between libraries and their
users within Canada. This reduced rate, known as the Library Book Rate,
has been offered as a service by Canada Post since 1939.
Tweed has shown
continuous dedication to this issue, having first introduced the bill in
2007. "Mr. Tweed has been absolutely instrumental in this initiative and
we couldn’t be more proud to have him as a passionate supporter
and champion of libraries," said Pilar Martinez, CLA President. "He has
shown commitment and perseverance on the library book rate, and the library community is
absolutely delighted to see this bill finally become
In addition to enshrining the Library Book
Rate in the Canada Post Corporation Act, Bill C-321 also expands
the definition of library materials to include new media such as CDs,
DVDs and other audio-visual materials. "Library collections have evolved
significantly over the years to include new formats as technology
changes," said Kelly Moore, CLA Executive Director, "so this expanded
definition recognizes that information comes in many different formats,
not just books."
The Library Book Rate is about more than a
reduced rate for libraries to send and receive books. With over 2200
libraries actively using the Library Book Rate and over one million
Canadians benefiting from it annually, it is an indispensable part of
the service delivered by libraries across the country. Bill C-321
guarantees long-term sustainability for the Rate, which makes vital
contributions to the national public policy goals of literacy and
lifelong learning, and supports inclusive, vibrant communities.
The Library Book Rate also provides a bridge
between all Canadians, including those who are disabled, home-bound, or
live in remote locations. "Canadians deserve equal access to library and
information services," added Moore. "With Bill C-321 now in force, we
can continue to provide equitable access to materials for all Canadians,
regardless of where they live."
"A strong library system is one of the best
and most important services that a community can offer to its
residents," concluded Martinez. "On behalf of CLA and its members, I
would like to thank the Government of Canada for its support, and once
again thank Merv Tweed, who has taken the lead and championed access to
library materials, a fundamental value and right for Canadians."
Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des
bibliothèques (CLA) is the national voice for Canada’s
library communities, representing the interests of libraries, library
workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life of
Canadians through information and literacy.
information and for media interviews, please contact:
Kelly Moore, CLA Executive
Tel.: 613-232-9625 Ext. 306,