In June, at the annual conference of the Canadian Library Association, the Parliamentary Librarian announced that Guy Charbonneau, Speaker of the Senate and John A. Fraser, Speaker of the House of, have decided to use alkaline permanent paperstock for printing all of the Parliament 's publications, beginning in October.
An ample supply of Canadian alkaline uncoated permanent paper suitable for the inside pages of all parliamentary publications can be guaranteed. An evaluation in 1989 by the Canadian Government Printing Services confirmed that alkaline permanent paper is suitable for printing parliamentary publications.
The decision by Parliament to switch to alkaline paper is consistent with its overall conservation goal to encourage the efficient use of Canada's limited natural resources. Alkaline paper carries the following environmental advantages: It is recyclable and biodegradable; the alkaline papermaking process reduces freshwater consumption and facilitates waste treatment; and, compared to the acidic papermaking process, alkaline paper is cleaner and saves energy, particularly in the drying cycle.
The Library of Parliament, which sent this news to the Abbey Newsletter, is proud to have been part of the alkaline solution to the "slow fires" problem of acidic papers. This solution would not have been possible without the assistance of the National Library of Canada, officials from the Senate, the House of Commons, the Canadian Government Publishing Centre and the Canadian Government Printing Services. An exhibition on brittle paper and alkaline paper is presently on display in the Hall of Honour at the entrance to the Library of Parliament.