Conservatives defend cuts to door-to-door mail service

Canada Post's new business plan aims to phase out residential delivery in urban centres

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt is defending Canada Post's decision to phase out urban mail delivery over the next five years while hiking the price of stamps.

Raitt, the minister responsible for the Crown corporation, says Canadians are sending less mail than ever, leaving Canada Post with some tough financial decisions in order to combat a steep decline in revenues.

She says a typical Canadian household buys only one to two dozen stamps a year, and mail volumes continue to plummet, having fallen nearly 25 per cent per household since 2008.

``The government of Canada supports Canada Post in its efforts to fulfil 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,'' Raitt said in a statement.

She adds she is looking forward to ``seeing progress'' as Canada Post rolls out its cost-cutting plans.

The NDP's Olivia Chow and Peter Julian, meantime, assailed the Conservative government for the decision.

``Conservatives are destroying Canadians' long-treasured postal services,'' Chow said in a statement. ``These job-killing and service-cutting measures will isolate seniors, the poor and the disabled living in urban areas.''

On Parliament Hill, Julian criticized the government for the timing of the announcement. The House of Commons adjourned on Tuesday until late January.

``There are really serious concerns being raised about this and yet we have the government announcing it after the House is adjourned, and that tells you everything you want to know about how they think Canadians are going to react,'' Julian said.

``It's profoundly disrespectful to Canadians and disrespectful to Parliament.''

The Green Party's Elizabeth May was equally disdainful.

``This decision will disproportionately affect the elderly and Canadians living with disabilities, for whom home delivery of letters and parcels provides a critical link,'' May said.

``Canada Post claims to be listening to Canadians, yet I've yet to hear anyone tell me that they no longer want letters delivered to their homes.''

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  1. don was right posted on 12/11/2013 10:40 AM
    Fire the workers and their union. Hire a bunch of flyer delivery guys at minumum wag. Pay a $2 bouns for being able to read English. Instant savings of50% or more. And ebven then only deliver 2 times a week.
  2. john posted on 12/11/2013 10:41 AM
    the reason why we are doing using Canada post is because they charge to much if i wanna scend something i want it there today not 2000 years latter . we just send viva email or UPS . we don't have to worrie about over paid under worked whiner unions going on strike . Canada post is a dying breed . so is the government in general . time to deep 6 this now useless service and move on .
  3. john posted on 12/11/2013 10:44 AM
    only deliver crap anyways .
  4. Paul57 posted on 12/11/2013 12:49 PM
    Canada Post home-to-home delivery is simply too expensive to continue its use. I hope those who will no longer be employed by Canada Post will understand the rest of us in the various Canadian industries have already undergone the hardships of change. Many have lost their jobs and had to move on. Many adapt (me included), some wither.

    As a tax-payer, I do not owe anyone a job any more than they owe me a living. If you were thinking ahead, you would have started preparing yourself for a possible shift in employment; if you haven't, shame on you for thinking you only need to apply once in your adult life for a job. I have been forced to change 5 times.

    In closing, that's life so get over it. I, like the millions of private sectors workers, worked it out. You will need to as well. Who knows, you may actually reach your true potential.

  5. Ted posted on 12/11/2013 01:07 PM
    Not sure why Canada Post thinks that its unique. If any other business were to jack up its prices and make itself less convenient they would lose money (unless they were some sort of exclusive, luxury business- which Canada Post isn't). Just watch this move backfire.
  6. old sally posted on 12/11/2013 01:29 PM
    Not so fast Canada Post. You have to offer a bi-monthly delivery service to shut-ins and the disabled who receive mail during that period. With most of these people already living in large buildings, hence no delivery needed, the costs will be minimal.
  7. Mark7 posted on 12/11/2013 02:19 PM
    I will no longer be using Canada Post come the increase. Hopefully, the majority will follow my boycott. Another unionized job robbing all of us.
  8. Galileo posted on 12/11/2013 03:01 PM
    If people like Olivia Chow had their way it would be a legal requirement for all gas stations to have a unionized blacksmith available during operating hours.

    Canada Post simply can't continue to operate when it's losing hundreds of millions of dollars per year. It would be lunacy for it to try to carry on as if this was the 1960's.
  9. Frankie posted on 12/11/2013 03:54 PM
    Perhaps Olivia Chow and her leftie buddies can deliver the mail with their current salaries. After all, what other use do they have to us?

    What will her poor mother do however, when the mail isn't delivered at 9:00AM sharp (same time as her garbage pickup)? She was so distraught that it was sitting out there after 9:00 AM.
  10. Phred posted on 12/11/2013 09:12 PM
    it says the average household Buys 1 to 2 dozen stamps year. ???
    what average household is that? I haven't bought any stamps in the past few years. I don't have any acquaintances who have bought stamps in recent recollection.
    it's time for Canada Post to join Kodak in the trash heap of things replaced by computers / the Internet.
    1. Greg posted on 12/11/2013 09:53 PM
      @Phred I'm sure there's a few very well paid executives down there at the old Post. I thought it was their job to study trends, forecast future revenues and change business plans if necessary. Guess they were busy.
  11. Peter posted on 12/12/2013 10:05 AM

    If the U.S. and U.K. still deliver mail to residences and we don't, then there may be something wrong with Canada Post decision.

    It's not just lettermail that is affected, but also the increasing parcel mail generated from online shopping. I do not think the community mailboxes can handle that if there are several parcel deliveries at once to the community mailbox.

    The change may work but there has to be enough time to adjust to the change. Maybe it should be a 2-3 year project, so that hardships are not created.

    One hardship could be that elderly people will not be able to easily get outside and walk to the community mailbox. On the other hand, it may create an opportunity to meet someone new at the community mailbox.

    I would watch what the USA and UK do. They may not copy us if they think it is a bad idea, and they may have good reasons that we have not thought of.
    There is bound to be some protest in this decision.

    Thank goodness it does not apply to business to business mail.

    1. William posted on 12/12/2013 11:00 AM
      @Peter The US has its own issues.
      From Forbes: "The United States Postal Service has run up $4 billion in losses so far this year, on top of last year’s $15.9 billion deficit. Congress is considering legislation to rearrange the deck chairs on the postal Titanic."
  12. john posted on 12/12/2013 11:06 AM
    mark7 i dont use the post anyways so it dont mater to me one bit . e mail all the way for me .
  13. AC posted on 12/12/2013 01:32 PM
    everyone notice how the coward conservatives bring this issue forward just as parliament isn't sitting. face the people CONS
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