Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Canada’s Textbook Fees and Usage Under Fire


Students from across Canada are banding together to fight Canada’s book importation regulations.

Campus Stores Canada and The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations are meeting today to raise awareness of high textbook prices that “can be eliminated with the stroke of a pen.”

Students and organizations across Canada are banding together to fight Canada’s book importation regulations, most notably a Book Import Tax that drives the cost of imported book prices up by as much as 15%. Some estimate the tax costs Canadian post-secondary students roughly $30 million each year.

The coming weeks will also likely see the House of Commons passing the controversial Bill C-32, which seeks to bring Canada into compliance with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) treaty signed in 1996.

Much debate centres around the Bill’s implications for the copying of textbooks for studying and other purposes. Under the “fair dealings” section, the current draft would allow students to copy anything printed (textbooks, novels, instructional manuals) as long as it is labeled “education.”

The New Democrats and Bloc Québécois are also calling for an “iPod Tax” that would add a levy to digital downloads such as MP3s, to give back to the producers or writers of the works. Such a tax is being called “only fair” by some, and “regressive, unfair and economically destructive” by others.

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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