Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Canada Post announces it will phase out home deliveries
and create more unemployment.
The elderly, the sick, the handicapped will have to get their mail from district boxes. Imagine us struggling through snow drifts with our canes and walkers to pick up our telephone bill or a letter from our grandchildren. But Canada Post doesn't give a damn. It is all about big bucks for the rich. Canadians must not allow this to happen,
Phyllis Carter
"Canada Post has a mandate to fund its operations with revenues from the sale of its products and services, rather than become a burden on taxpayers," the company said in a news release. "With the increasing use of digital communication and the historic decline of lettermail volumes, Canada Post has begun to post significant financial losses. If left unchecked, continued losses would soon jeopardize its financial self-sufficiency and become a significant burden on taxpayers and customers."

The price of stamps bought in rolls will go to 85 cents apiece, from the current 63 cents, pending approval of the government, the company said. Individual stamps will go to $1.

The single largest source of savings will come from moving Canadians living in cities to so-called community mailboxes – a practice that is now commonplace in rural areas and most new subdivisions. The move alone will save up to $500-million.

The company said its expects savings of $700-million to $900-million per year from the moves.

Without the changes, Canada Post has warned that it will be losing $1-billion a year by 2020, based on projection contained in a recent Conference Board of Canada study.

The post office reported a loss before tax of $109-million for the third quarter, down from a loss of $145-million in the third quarter of 2012.

A key contributor to the loss was the fall in so-called transactional mail, which is down 184 million pieces or 5.1 per cent in the first nine months of the year.

The moves are not expected to have an immediate impact on business delivery. But the increase in the cost of stamps, to 85 cents from 63 cents, will hurt many companies.

Roughly one third of Canadians now receive mail at their home. The post office plans to announce the first neighbourhoods slated for conversion to community boxes in the second half of 2014. Full phase-in will take five years.

Also Wednesday, the Conservative government said it will introduce new regulations to give Canada Post Corporation four years of relief from making up the shortfall in its pension plan, now at $6.5-billion.

"The regulations provide Canada Post with more time to pay off its significant pension deficit so that it can restructure its operations for long-term viability," Kevin Sorenson, the Minister of State for Finance said in a statement. "We believe these circumstances merit one-time transitional assistance. As part of Canada Post's commitment to return to long-term viability, executive compensation will be restricted while the regulations remain in effect."

Canadians want to pay for the postal system as users, not taxpayers, Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton said.

"Canadians have told us 'their mailing habits have changed, they're leading busy lives. They expect the post office to change,'" Mr. Hamilton said.

In a statement, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt endorsed Canada Post's plan, pointing out that the postal service has a mandate to be financially self-sufficient.

"In today's digital age, Canadians are sending less mail than ever," said Ms. Raitt, who is responsible for the post office.

"The Government of Canada supports Canada Post in its efforts to fulfill its mandate of operating on a self-sustaining financial basis in order to protect taxpayers, while modernizing its business and aligning postal services with the choices of Canadians."

NDP MP Peter Julian said the timing of the announcement – coming a day after the end of the fall session of the House of Commons – shows the government expected the announcement would be very unpopular and wanted to avoid answering questions.

"I think Canadians will be profoundly appalled," he said following a meeting of the NDP caucus.

The NDP also expressed concern over how the loss of home delivery would impact elderly and disabled Canadians.

With files from Bill Curry

The Globe and Mail.


No comments: