Maritime newspaper lovers pay to fly Globe and Mail east after delivery cancelled

More than 200 newspaper enthusiasts will pay nearly $10 each to have the Globe and Mail flown to Halifax. The newspaper announced in August that it would no longer distribute its print edition to the Maritime provinces.

Readers will pay $9.50 to pick up the Globe & Mail's Saturday edition, after it's flown from Toronto

Michele Gerard, owner of Atlantic News in Halifax, has reached an arrangement with the Globe and Mail to load a stack of newspapers onto an Air Canada plane and have it flown out east. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

Newspaper readers in Halifax have spoken: "Don't stop the presses."

More than 200 people have agreed to pay for a copy of the Globe and Mail's Saturday edition to be loaded on a plane and flown halfway across the country for same-day delivery in Halifax.

"From the moment they heard that the Globe wasn't going to be available, we immediately had phone calls from people." - Michele Gerard, owner of Atlantic News

In August, the national paper announced it would no longer distribute to New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island or Nova Scotia. Distribution stopped to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2013.

The newspaper has promised to invest in East Coast content which would be available online, but that's not good enough for many hard-copy readers.

"From the moment they heard that the Globe wasn't going to be available, we immediately had phone calls from people," said Michele Gerard, owner of Atlantic News, an independent newspaper and magazine shop in Halifax.

'"We'll do our best,' that's all I could say," Gerard said.

This stack of newspapers was printed on the last day of the Globe and Mail's Maritime distribution. As of December 2017, the newspaper is no longer delivered to Atlantic Canada. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

Since then, she's devised a plan.

Each Saturday morning, the Globe and Mail's delivery team will bring a stack of newspapers to Toronto Pearson International Airport. It will be loaded onto an Air Canada plane and flown to Halifax.

Gerard or her employees will drive to the airport to pick up the stack, assemble the newspapers, and put them up for sale.

"The Globe and Mail has been incredibly flexible and really good to work with," Gerard said.

"[Interest] has been steadily growing, and there's 220 people that have confirmed they'll pick up the paper every weekend," she said.

Extra copies available in limited supply

Gerard is flying in a couple dozen extra copies this weekend for those who may be caught off guard by the delivery cancellation.

Readers will pay $8.25 before tax, for a total of $9.50 per newspaper.

Gerard added that readers can also still access a version of the Monday to Friday version. Upon request, Atlantic News staff can print a full edition of the Globe and Mail (plus thousands of other publications) on regular printer paper. 

Meanwhile, the Globe and Mail is offering a special discount for Maritimers interested in online subscriptions.

Gerard has a hunch many will still opt for the hard copy.

"The Saturday [edition] has things that you want to sit down and take the time to read," she said. "It's not about that short, quick, 'What's in the news?' or 'What's the headline?'

"I can get that another way online."