PrintForward Government Affairs Activity
Our Government Affairs committee is an active group and is comprised of Daryl Akin, Doug Bourne, Marilynn Knoch, Judi Koster, Gordon Taschuk, Mark Weeks, and is chaired by me (Kris Bovay).
During April, May and June, the committee moved forward on a number of actions, with specific support from Marilynn Knoch during her term (January through June 2016) as our contracted Advocate for the industry.
- We met with Metro Vancouver regarding the region’s air quality, emissions and regulation initiative – to discover potential impact for the printing industry. This is an ongoing project in terms of educating Metro Vancouver on the industry and the commitment to the environment that the industry has demonstrated over the years;
- We discussed with the ReTHinkIt group the upcoming Auditor General’s audit on MMBC – considering the preparation of a submission to the AG on the impact of the MMBC initiative on end users of print and paper;
- We hosted a Government of BC International Trade program at the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters offices in downtown Vancouver – the topic presented was the impact, or potential for impact, of provincial and federal trade agreements on BC businesses and the economy;
- We communicated with both Jeremy Higgs, Executive Director, Labour and Market Information Division of the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills and with Tracey McLennan, ITA Manufacturing Sector Advisory Group Manager to discuss the steps necessary for the re-listing of the print industry by the provincial government.
At the end of June, the committee met to discuss the pending labour issues at Canada Post (a 72 hours strike notice had been issued). The result was that PrintForward sent a letter to Canada Post and key federal government ministers highlighting the industry’s concerns about the impact of a work stoppage (either lock-out or strike) on business, the economy and the print industry, as well as a request to resolve the labour relations issue quickly – the uncertainty alone has a negative effective on printing and mailing. We did receive recognition of our position from the Minister responsible for Canada Post, the Honourable Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurements, Member of Parliament, Bonavista – Burin – Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador and from the General Sales Manager of Canada Post, Sophie Ouellet.
We also saw that other associations and organizations lobbied the Government of Canada to come to a resolution quickly. And finally, after a marathon weekend session with a mediator, Canada Post and its union agreed to a two year deal. While we applaud the negotiated resolution, two years is not a long term deal and we recognize that we will face some continued challenges in the future.
Our government affairs work moving forward will be focused on four specific ‘files’:
- The relisting of the industry with the Labour Market and Information Division (this is apparently a multi-year project);
- Discovering the impacts, if any, of the MMBC program and reporting to the AG’s office in time for their audit;
- Working with Metro Vancouver to ensure that they have accurate industry information on the impact that print has on air quality and emissions;
- Communications initiatives to promote the value of print to all levels of government and to the public.
If you have an interest in Government Affairs and would like to participate at the committee level, or if you have government-related issues that you would like to bring forward for discussion, please contact our Executive Director, Ian Cockburn, or Kris Bovay, our Government Affairs Committee Chair to find out when, and where, our next meeting is being held.
Kris Bovay, General Manager, Pacific Bindery Services, member of the Board of PrintForward, Printing and Imaging Association, member of the Manufacturing Sector Council of the ITA, and Chair of the Program Advisory Group for the BCIT Graphic Communications Technology Management Program. Contact Kris at k.bovay at pacificbindery.com,