The Globe and Mail is reporting that the Department of Canadian Heritage has given the all-clear for multinational publisher Simon & Schuster to begin a Canadian publishing program out of its Toronto office.
The ability to publish Canadian authors domestically has long been an ambition of S&S, and rumours that a deal might be imminent were stoked late last year when the company hired Phyllis Bruce, formerly the head of a well-regarded eponymous literary imprint at HarperCollins Canada. Earlier this year, S&S signed on to publish a book about the history of hockey by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. That deal technically happened out of the company’s New York head office.
The Globe’s John Barber quotes an email from DCH spokesperson Peter Manoni, who writes, Simon and Schuster Canada has met its obligations under the Investment Canada Act and may now launch a book publishing business in Canada…. Canada has a vibrant book industry. This shows that companies want to invest and publish in Canada’s publishing industry.
In April of this year, DCH approved the merger of the country’s two biggest multinational branch plants, Random House and Penguin.
UPDATE: The Department of Canadian Heritage has provided Q&Q with a statement regarding the undertakings agreed to by S&S in order to pass the “net benefit” test and receive approval to publish in Canada. In an email, Manoni writes that “Simon and Schuster Canada will publish and promote Canadian authors, participate in Canadian book industry initiatives, expand its internship program with Simon-Fraser University and Humber College, as well as develop a course for future book industry leaders with Simon-Fraser University.”
UPDATE: Simon & Schuster Canada president Kevin Hanson has provided media with the following statement: “This will give Canadian authors more opportunities to be published in Canada, discovered by Canadian readers and made known abroad through Simon & Schuster’s global publishing platform. We look forward to making our own contribution to Canada’s vibrant literary scene.
The statement also notes that “[m]ore details about Simon & Schuster Canada’s plans will be shared in the weeks to come.”