Many of Canada’s magazines and newspapers, including the Anglican Journal, received an early Christmas gift when the federal government extended on Dec. 15 an important postage subsidy called the Publications Assistance Program for up to two years.In a directive to Canada Post, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Lawrence Cannon announced that the postal service “will continue to provide funding in support of the Publications Assistance Program while (the federal department of) Canadian Heritage determines the best way to support the Canadian publishing industry in the years to come.”Previously, Canada Post had said it would end its $15-million contribution to the $60-million program in April, 2007. The program is currently under review by Canadian Heritage.”This is encouraging and welcome news,” said Beverley Murphy, circulation director of the Anglican Journal, in an e-mail to the Journal‘s board of directors and editors of the church’s 22 diocesan newspapers. She added in an interview, “The program is essential to our survival and we certainly hope it will continue on at least the same level.” The Journal receives an annual grant of $500,000 from the program. “Without this subsidy, mailing costs would quadruple and the Anglican Journal and most diocesan newspapers most likely would not survive,” said Ms. Murphy. The Journal is currently mailed at an average cost of 13 cents per copy; without the postal subsidy, the cost would rise to at least 52 cents.