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Tweed's library bill finally becomes law

Brandon-Souris Conservative MP Merv Tweed.

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Brandon-Souris Conservative MP Merv Tweed. (TIM SMITH / BRANDON SUN)

After six years of work, Merv Tweed's dream of cheaper postage for rural ibraries has become a reality.

Tweed, the Brandon–Souris Conservative MP, announced Wednesday afternoon that his Private Members’ Bill C-321, An Act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act (library materials) has received Royal Assent. 

"This bill was passed with unanimous consent in the House of Commons and the Senate, and after six years of Parliamentary procedure, will finally become law," said Tweed.

It not only enshrines the Library Book Rate in the Canada Post Corporation Act, but it also seeks to widens the definition of library materials — including new media materials beyond books.

The Library Book Rate, a highly discounted postal rate offered by Canada Post, has existed since 1939 and is used by libraries to reduce the cost of offering inter-library loans. This helps provide equal access to printed library books for all Canadian readers regardless of their location whether they live in a rural, remote or urban area of Canada.

"The Canadian Library Association is thrilled that the library book rate provision is finally enshrined in legislation," said CLA President Pilar Martinez. "Libraries now have the certainty that they can continue to provide access to resources by mailing library materials to users and to other libraries."

The legislation was first introduced in the House of Commons as Bill C-458 on June 13, 2007 in the 39th Parliament, and reintroduced in the 40th Parliament as C-322, C-509 and finally as C-321.

"We are especially grateful to Mr. Tweed for his commitment and perseverance in championing this bill on behalf of the library community," Martinez said.

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Bravo Mr. Tweed!

This took 6 years?!

Has there been any other major or significant accomplishment that has been achieved since you have been the MP for the Brandon-Souris riding?

I am not trying to be sarcastic.

I just think that we should expect and demand MORE from those elected to represent us than what we currently do.

I think that we should REGULARLY hold their feet to the fire, demand accountability, transparency, raise our expectations of what we desire and demand from them and ask them what they have to SHOW for the time and the money that they and we have spent asking them to represent us in the first place.

I guess that I just want to see opportunity after opportunity after opportunity open up and become available within this region and I would like to see these things happen a lot more quickly and much more frequently than having to wait for another 6 years.

Congratulations on this accomplishment!

What else is in the works for this region of the province and how long do you anticipate that this will take to come into fruition and affect?

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