Today I received the following letter, dated October 30, from the Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, Gary Lunn, in response to my letter asking him to overturn the decision to stop producing paper topographic maps. You will recall that shortly after I sent that letter (but almost certainly before it arrived), Mr. Lunn did, in fact, reverse that decision.
The text of the letter:
Dear Mr. Crowe:
Thank you for your letter of October 5, 2006, expressing your interest in the continuing availability of paper topographical maps. We have received a large number of letters and e-mails from citizens such as yourself from across the country on this issue.
Immediately upon learning of the former government’s plans to eliminate the production of paper topographical maps, I reversed the decision., I recognized that electronic maps would not be acceptable to many current users and decided that we should offer the option of both paper and electronic versions.
This government recognizes the need to continue to supply high quality, current geospatial information for its citizens, either directly or through private-sector distributors.
At this time I am pleased to inform you, and to assure you, that you will be able to receive either paper or electronic maps produced by Natural Resources Canada.
Again, thank you for writing and bringing this issue to my attention. Your intervention did indeed matter and influence my decision.
(Not my intervention; it arrived too late. But in the aggregate this was true: letters and e-mails surely mattered in this case.)
A scan of the letter after the jump.