Canada Post’s door-to-door delivery must be saved

It remains unclear why Canada Post decided to eliminate instead of innovate.

According to Canada Post’s Code of Conduct, serving Canadians with both passion and pride is at the forefront of the corporation’s values — though as of late, this service may not extend to your front door. Last year the Crown corporation declared that they would begin phasing out door-to-door mail delivery. Since then, workers of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) have been fighting to save our postal services, and it’s high time more of us chimed in to lend our support.

Those who oppose the corporation’s decision emphasize its lack of public consultation. According to the CUPW, federal politicians and upper management should not decide the company’s fate, but rather the people should determine what services are needed. After all, Canada Post was meant to serve the people.

For some, the service cuts will have considerable consequences. For many of us, making a trip out to a community mailbox may be inconvenient, but it’s doable. For others, however, this will become a daily obstacle. Eliminating door-to-door service will put single parents, elderly, and disabled members of our community in an unfavourable position.

Earlier this year my grandfather suffered a stroke. It left him with balance problems and he often needs assistance when walking for long periods of time. As a 91-year-old who lives alone, getting to and from a community mailbox every day will be difficult for him, as he lives in a part of BC that receives heavy snow during the winter. No one should suffer daily worries about how they’re going to receive their mail.

If we are serious about saving door-to-door delivery, we may want to consider alternative solutions.

On top of the inconvenience, an estimated 8,000 postal workers will lose their jobs as a direct result of the service cutbacks. While the digitization of our society certainly impacts the amount of mail being sent, calling the industry ‘dead’ is a massive exaggeration.

In 2012, Canada Post reported $98 million in profit — not bad for a corporation that is slashing services in the name of fiscal responsibility. The Conservative government has hit public services hard in recent years, and this is why we must take a stand if we are to save our valued Crown corporations like Canada Post.

Rather than eliminating services, we need to consider new options. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) recently released a report criticizing the current delivery cutbacks. In the report, researcher John Anderson suggests that reformation of the system would be a better idea than dropping door-to-door delivery entirely.

It remains unclear why Canada Post decided to eliminate instead of innovate, but if we are serious about saving door-to-door delivery, then we may want to consider alternative solutions. As the CCPA suggests, there are other options at hand.

The fact that neither the public nor Parliament were consulted before this decision was made shows that Canada Post is not following through on the promise that they made to Canadians. As the CUPW pushes forth a lawsuit against the Crown corporation, I hope that everyone takes some time to consider those most affected by this cutback. Write to your local MP or to Canada Post if you want to see this decision reversed.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Kind of late now, CUPW was completely silent and did nothing all summer, guess too busy on vacation. No support in any affected community. Sorry, they care about one thing – the old boys and girls pensions and that is about it. They are too blind or really haven’t noticed that many companies are switching to UPS for all the parcels.

  2. At what cost to keep door to door? Do you think the average taxpayer moving forward is going to want to help this “live in the past get left behind” union? Keeping door to door for the minority still with it is unsustainable in this day and age, times change. Why keep a two tiered system in which those getting a boutique service “to the door” are paying the same to use Canada Post as those without. Seems to be a clear double standard to me that needs to be eliminated. The only reason they have made any money is due to the fact that they haven’t continued with door to door delivery to new communities and buildings over the last 30 plus years. This company brings in billions each year in revenue and has very little in profit to show for it, a failure any way you look at it. Contracts signed that were too rich over the years are partly to blame. The only idea this union keeps harping on is postal banking. If that was such a great idea why hasn’t it been around for over 40 years? It’s 2014, it’s time to move forward. Those few who have absolutely no assistance at all ( not sure how they function with none ) will still get delivery to their door once a week, most who are that incapacitated and choose to live in a home have others to help them out. Permanent full and part time employees are not losing their jobs, they have job protection in their collective agreement ( attrition will take care of the losses ). There will be less opportunities in the future, no different than other industries when technology has changed the landscape.

  3. While we are at it, lets bring back milk, eggs and bread delivery to the door. And, lets resurrect Eaton’s and Simpson’s as they had great delivery services too. And, best to do it with horses and wagons, as those don’t use oil based fuels, and taking care of the horses creates jobs for people. We’ll have a great future, it will be a real “back to the future”!