Canada Post has announced it intends to end the door-to-door delivery of mail in urban centres, eliminate up to 8,000 jobs, and increase the price of stamps from 63 cents to 85 cents (when purchased in bulk) for a standard letter.
Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow says, “This is yet another case of a Harper-driven impoverishment of an essential service. It will negatively affect seniors, people with disabilities and other Canadians who rely on the mail. It will cut donations to charities and non profits at a time they are struggling. And it will set Canada Post up for privatisation down the road. Harper has given massive tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy and removed from the public purse all the money we need for this and other services.”
And as CTV reports, “President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Denis Lemelin said the Crown corporation could reduce costs through innovation rather than cutting jobs and scaling back services. …Lemelin said CUPW has been advocating for postal banking — where post offices offer basic banking services — as a way to increase revenues.”
“NDP MP Olivia Chow said a number of countries in Europe have successfully implemented postal banking services and are now making money. ‘Instead what Canada Post is doing is cutting service and eliminating many of the front-line services instead of increasing revenue’, she said… ‘By dramatically increasing the rates of stamps, the Conservative government is really destroying postal service’, she added.”
The Council stands with CUPW
In March 2001, the Council of Canadians and CUPW challenged the constitutionality of the NAFTA investor-state provision that allows foreign corporations to sue Canada. Our court challenge focused on the threat posed by the $230 million NAFTA lawsuit by the US courier giant United Parcel Serivce (UPS) targeting Canada Post because the publicly funded postal network was, in their view, unfairly being used to support its own courier business and therefore infringing on the profits of UPS.
In 2009, we backed CUPW when the Harper government introduced Bill C-44, an Act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act, which sought to partially deregulate Canada Post by removing international letters from Canada Post’s exclusive privilege to handle letters.
And in 2011, the Council of Canadians stood in solidarity with CUPW when the Harper government moved to legislate back to work 50,000 locked-out postal workers. At that time, Barlow stated, “We express our solidarity with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. The concessions that Canada Post is refusing to back down on would be a worrying step toward privatization, and we commend your efforts to defend and expand mail delivery in Canada as a crucial public service.”