Canada's Communications Minister Perrin Beatty announced on January 15 the Cabinet's decision to print documents of long-term value on permanent paper. Until a Canadian standard is ready, the government will use the American standard, ANSI Z39.48. A committee will be formed by the National Archives to decide which documents, or types of documents, this new policy will apply to, and the National Library of Canada will work with the departments and agencies to determine a schedule for implementation. This will depend partly on the paper industry's ability to respond to the demand created by this decision.
Commenting on the decision, Minister Beatty said it reflected "a world-wide movement to protect printed heritage which is currently in danger of disappearing. This initiative demonstrates the government's commitment to safeguarding our collective memory and will enable librarians and archivists to continue to meet the needs of future generations of Canadians."
Since October 1990 Parliament of Canada documents have been printed on alkaline paper. Statistics Canada also uses this paper, and popular publishing houses and academic presses, among them Carswells, Viking Penguin, McClelland and Stewart, University of Toronto Press and Key Porter, have converted to use of alkaline paper already. All publications of the National Library of Canada have been printed on permanent paper since 1988.
For more information contact Jan Michaels, Preservation Coordinator, National Library of Canada, 613/996-3945.