In reaction to the news that Amazon is seeking government approval to establish operations in Canada, the Canadian Booksellers Association released a statement demanding that the government reject the online retailer’s application. From the press release:
CBA contends that allowing Amazon to operate a business within Canada would contravene the Investment Canada Act which requires that foreign investments in the book publishing and distribution sector be compatible with national cultural policies and be of net benefit to Canada and the Canadian-controlled sector.
CBA President Stephen Cribar argues that Amazon’s entry into Canada would detrimentally affect the country’s independent businesses and cultural industries: “Individual Canadian booksellers have traditionally played a key role in ensuring the promotion of Canadian authors and Canadian culture. These are values that no American dot.com retailer could ever purport to understand or promote.”
CBA urges the Canadian government and the Department of Canadian Heritage to continue its support of our unique cultural perspective by placing reasonable limits on American domination of our book market and rejecting Amazon.com’s current application.
The release urges Canadians to write letters to their MPs and to the ministers of industry and culture, and even to Stephen Harper himself, though we all know how he feels about books.