Last week I blogged about a dispute over whether Canada Post would continue a 66-year old program that offer libraries greatly reduced pricing for inter-library loans. I wondered aloud why the government does not recognize the opportunity for the Internet to facilitate similar low cost distribution.
The real space issue has apparently been resolved. National Revenue Minister John MacCallum, the Minister responsible for Canada Post, now says that the program will continue stating that "the library book rate is a tremendous tool that helps us achieve some of our most fundamental public policy objectives…a strong literacy rate and low-cost information sharing will be critical as Canada continues to position itself as a world leader in the knowledge-based economy."
Of course, substitute the words "library book rate" with "Internet" and the statement works equally well. Sadly, the government has effectively said that it needs further consultation before it is willing to make that statement.