Sunday, October 01, 2006

Map Supply in Danger!

If you've ever bought a Canadian topographic map to use on a wilderness trip, you will be interested (and probably shocked) to learn that our government has decided to stop printing them. Maps will still be available in digital format but think about how awkward it will be to use such a map. Think about those of us still on dial-up, with old black and white printers, etc.

Find out more at the Maps for Canadians website. This site contain much more information on the issue and samples of letters you can write to your MP and/or the Federal Minister of Natural Resources

Here is a sample e-mail from the site:

Have you ever used a topographic map for exploration, teaching, or just for fun?

Effective January 2007, Natural Resources Canada will close the Canada Map Office and discontinue the printing of paper topographic maps. Maps will be available in digital format through the Internet. The new policy, however, will not meet Canadians’ needs. Canadians will effectively lose access to their maps.

Canada has a distinguished history in map making. Indeed, Canada was the second country in the world to develop a national atlas in 1906. Our country is currently world renowned for its innovation in mapping grounded in the country's original occupation: land exploration. National topographic maps and the Atlas of Canada promote our country’s sovereignty and educate Canadians by developing geographic literacy.

The Government of Canada’s policies of fiscal responsibility and accountability are important. However, organizations such as yours still need service from their government. Your organization may place a priority on the paper map service the Government currently provides. Natural Resources Canada’s promotion of self-printing from a website is ahead of its time. The Canadian public, especially those located outside of urban centres without access to technological support, will no longer be served.

For more information, and to send a letter to your Member of Parliament and to the Minister of Natural Resources, please see the website that has been set up by other concerned organizations such as yours. Please also send this message to your members and to other affected associations.

Maps are important. They are not only an integral part of our heritage but also of our economy, recreation and way of life. Who we are as Canadians is a product of where we are. If we all speak up, we can make a difference.

Canoe Trippers Unite!

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