American online giant Amazon has requested government approval to establish operations here in Canada. In consideration of this, the Canadian Booksellers Association has a few things to say and has asked that the government deny Amazon’s request. The press release states:
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.
With Biblio and other indie shops in mind, I firmly stand behind the CBA. Do you? We’re urged, then, to support them and the preservation of our Canadian culture by writing to our MPs and ministers of culture and industry, and even to the prime minister. I’m conflicted about this, wondering what the point might be, especially since Harper seems too busy for this sort of thing, but one never knows. Better to do something than nothing.