Farm publishers hail periodical fund streamlining

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Publishers of Canada’s agricultural journals and newspapers expect greater certainty out of a new federal plan to cut the turnaround time on support available to publishers.

Federal Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault on Wednesday announced his department is “working to establish a simplified process” for submitting and processing 2020-21 funding requests for both the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) and Canada Book Fund.

The new process “will significantly reduce the time it takes to process files,” the government said in a release, allowing eligible publishers to access financial assistance “much more quickly than usual.”

The CPF provides financial assistance to publishers of Canadian print magazines, non-daily newspapers and digital periodicals “to enable them to overcome market disadvantages and continue to provide Canadian readers with the content they choose to read.”

Speaking Thursday on behalf of Canadian Farm Press, an association of Canadian publishers of ag journals, Glacier FarmMedia president Bob Willcox said Guilbeault’s announcement “will reduce the uncertainty” amongst the group’s members in applying for CPF funding.

That, in turn, is “a welcome initiative in these uncertain times (which will) allow the members to continue their important and crucial work of communicating with Canada’s agricultural community,” Willcox said.

The government said the move to streamline the funding process “will help ensure Canadians can continue to get reliable news and information related to COVID-19, so they can make the right decisions to stay healthy and safe.”

Beneficiaries of both programs will be “contacted in the coming days” to further explain the new approach for 2020-21, the government added.

Members of Canadian Farm Press include the Western Producer, La Terre de chez nous, Ontario Farmer, Le Bulletin des agriculteurs, Canadian Cattlemen, Grainews, the Manitoba Co-operator and Country Guide. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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