Stunned disbelief was the reaction of many Canadians Wednesday morning (December 11) when their postal service Canada Post announced it would phase out home mail delivery in urban areas.
Canada Post, a crown corporation, came out with a YouTube video, and a slick document explaining how the cut in services, and turning towards community mailboxes, were a reflection of a new modern society in Canada in which increasing number of people use emails, rather than letters.
Critics worried about the impact of cutting door-to-door service on seniors and others, and also questioned the financial basis of the decision. The self-financing service is not paid for by taxpayers, and apart from 2011, it has had profits every year since 1995. Canada Post expects a loss in 2013..
Canada Post has argued that two-thirds of Canadians already do not get door-to-door service, but as the Canada Post graph from its 2012 Annual Report shows, a good portion of that two thirds of people get their mail in their apartment building lobby. Looked at this way, 58 per cent of Canadians get door-to-door service at present.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) called Canada Post’s decision to end door-to-door mail delivery and dramatically increase stamp prices “short-sighted and foolish”.
“If this happens, it would be the end of an era for Canada Post,” said Denis Lemelin, CUPW’s National President. “We are sure we are not alone in disagreeing with Canada Post’s plan.”
RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda has a report.Listen
CBC News – Canada Post to phase out urban home mail delivery – here
CTV News – Critics blast Canada Post’s plan to phase out door-to-door delivery – here
Canada Post – Five-point Action Plan (pdf) – here
Transport Canada press release – Minister Raitt supports action by Canada Post to return to financial sustainability – here
Canada Post annual reports – here
Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) – Canada Post chooses cuts over better options – here
RCI – Canada Post’s sales pitch tailored to justify cuts – here
Update December 16, 2013:
Canadian Union of Postal Workers releases press statement “Canada Post and Conference Board Myths Debunked” addressing issues such as the supposed financial losses and clarifying mail delivery in Canada. See the details here.
Earlier in the day RCI interviewed the president of the postal workers’ union, you’ll find the audio here