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Manitoba News Release
April 23, 2008
Manitoba readers will benefit from new funding and tax credits provided to libraries and book publishers, Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport Minister Eric Robinson said, as he announced the changes today on World Book Day.”Public libraries have a long, enduring tradition as positive community centres, providing free access to vital information, deepening our understanding of the world and providing positive pastimes for all ages through the wonder of books,” said Robinson. “This library funding combined with the new Book Publisher Tax Credit will ensure Manitobans will have access to more great books to read.”
The province will increase support to libraries by over $700,000 in Budget 2008. Over $300,000 of this includes direct, ongoing assistance to rural and northern facilities for new technologies, enhanced services and improved public access. The province will also double the grant available for library establishment to $10,000 to encourage greater municipal participation. The establishment of additional libraries in First Nations communities and the Rural Municipality of Springfield will also be assisted by $230,000 in new funding.
Robinson noted this new funding addresses several key recommendations of the Public Libraries Review and responds to recommendations of the Association of Manitoba Municipalities. A commitment of $20,000 will enable new strategies in the delivery of library service to unserviced communities. In addition, over $100,000 will go to Winnipeg Public Libraries to update collections and technology.
Reading books is the number one leisure activity in Canada, the minister said. Eighty-seven per cent of Canadians read, with the average Canadian spending $147 on books annually and making five visits to the library.
The minister also announced a new Manitoba Book Publishing Tax Credit program that will support Manitoba publishers engaged in the world’s first cultural industry.
“Publishing is at the core of literacy, providing content for readers in the province and those well beyond Manitoba’s borders who will be able to buy and read books published here,” said Robinson.
The financial impact of the Book Publishing Tax Credit is estimated to be $500,000, doubling the existing support of $500,000 from the Manitoba Arts Council and Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport. Publishers will receive their first benefit with their 2008 tax returns in April 2009 based on Manitoba labour and printing expenses incurred since April 9, 2008.
“These measures are significant new initiatives to enhance the sustainability of our publishing industry and create jobs while reducing its environmental impact and providing more Manitobans with access to books and information,” added Robinson.
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