Amazon.ca Gets Canadian Fulfillment Center

Amazon.ca will establish a fulfillment center in Canada following approval of its application under the Investment Canada Act by the Canadian Heritage and Official Languages ministry.

The application had been vehemently opposed by the Canadian Booksellers Association, which has spent many weeks encouraging writers and people in the publishing industry to contact elected representatives to voice their displeasure.

I have read the opposition’s series of press releases without quite understanding how more damage was going to be done than under the status quo. I wish I did understand, though I haven’t been able to get past the fact that people buy books online in Canada now. What is the issue with doing fulfillment in-country?

The Canadian Heritage ministry’s James Moore stated the decision is based on commitments made by Amazon, which include:

·         new jobs for Canadians and improved service for Canadian consumers;

·         increased visibility for Canadian books on the Amazon.ca Web page;

·         an investment of over $20 million, including $1.5 million in cultural events and awards in Canada and the promotion of Canadian-authored books internationally;

·         increased availability of French-language Canadian cultural products;

·         the establishment of dedicated staff to assist Canadian publishers and other suppliers of cultural products;

·         making more Canadian content available on the Kindle e-reader; and

·         creating a summer internship program for Canadian post-secondary students.

The CBA’s complete press release follows the jump.

[Thanks to John Mansfield for the story.]

PRESS RELEASE

Canadian Heritage Approves Amazon.ca Fulfilment Centre

OTTAWA, April 12, 2010 – Canadian Booksellers Association (CBA) has been informed that the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced today that Amazon has been granted approval under the Investment Canada Act to establish a fulfilment centre in Canada for Amazon.ca operations.

CBA is disappointed that Minister Moore approved Amazon’s application. CBA and its members wrote MPs, government officials and the Prime Minister of Canada to outline our objections and concerns should Amazon be allowed to open up a business in Canada. CBA President Stephen Cribar argued that Amazon’s entry into Canada would detrimentally affect the country’s independent businesses and cultural industries. Cribar stated that, “letting foreign retail giants into local Canadian markets under the false guise of Canadian partnership would be devastating to an important Canadian industry employing real book lovers in every community across Canada.”

Minister Moore states “this decision is based on commitments made by Amazon, which include:

  • new jobs for Canadians and improved service for Canadian consumers;
  • increased visibility for Canadian books on the Amazon.ca Web page;
  • an investment of over $20 million, including $1.5 million in cultural events and awards in Canada and the promotion of Canadian-authored books internationally;
  • increased availability of French-language Canadian cultural products;
  • the establishment of dedicated staff to assist Canadian publishers and other suppliers of cultural products;
  • making more Canadian content available on the Kindle e-reader; and
  • creating a summer internship program for Canadian post-secondary students.”

“While Heritage contends this decision will be of net benefit to Canada,” commented CBA Executive Director Susan Dayus, “CBA maintains this short-sighted ruling will have far-reaching consequences for the entire industry and have a devastating impact on community booksellers and Canadian readers.”

CBA Contacts

Stephen Cribar
CBA President

scribar@uwo.ca

Susan Dayus
CBA Executive Director

sdayus@cbabook.org

4 thoughts on “Amazon.ca Gets Canadian Fulfillment Center

  1. Canadian Heritage and Official Languages ministry

    Department of Canadian Heritage/Patrimoine canadien. It has a minister in charge but it’s a department.

    What is the issue with doing fulfillment in-country?

    At least two things are going on here:

    1: Chapters/Indigo, our nearly monopolistic book-chain up here, really doesn’t want to make it any easier for Amazon to eat into their market share. If they could convince the government to obligate Jeff Bezos to drive one white-hot iron spike into his head for each book sold by Amazon in Canada, they would.

    2: A certain amount of caution about Americans taking over our cultural media and then using their power to spread the very worst available American values is as much a part of Canadian tradition as loathing Toronto. See, for example, the Aird Commission:

    http://www.broadcasting-history.ca/networks/networks_CRBC.html

  2. Bear in mind that after the 15th century, pretty much every invasion of what is now Canada came from what is currently the US so there’s some historical reason to be cautious about American intentions, particularly in light of the outcome of the Oregon boundary dispute and the Pig War (Or more recently, Champ Clark’s comments about the long term ramifications of a free trade pact with Canada and the US).

    In fact Canada exists as a unified nation instead of several because British North Americans got nervous about what exactly the US planned to do with that massive army they suddenly assembled for some reason in the 1860s, particularly since the US didn’t seem to be using it to keep Irish terrorists based in the US from attempting to steal Canada.

  3. So did it make British North Americans feel less nervous allowing the Confederate secret service to run its operations from the Canadian side of the border?

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