Chapter activist Elaine Hughes
The Council of Canadians Quill Plains chapter has submitted its comments to the Canada Post Review Task Force.
On May 5, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Judy Foote stated, “The Government of Canada promised Canadians they would receive quality service from Canada Post at a reasonable price. In keeping with this commitment, today I am announcing an independent review of Canada Post.”
Chapter activist Elaine Hughes writes, “The Quill Plains (Wynyard) Chapter of the Council of Canadians welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the Canada Post Review Task Force. …Our chapter is essentially a rural one. Needless to say, making home mail delivery and preserving our public post offices an important feature of living in rural Saskatchewan. Many of our members are senior citizens, live on farms or in small towns, and not all have Internet service in their homes. Bringing back our postal bank for more inclusive, accessible financial services for everyone would also be welcomed.”
The Council of Canadians opposed the Harper government’s plan to end door-to-door mail delivery to five million households over a five year period. The Liberal platform this election promised, “We will save home mail delivery. By ending door-to-door mail delivery, Stephen Harper is asking Canadians to pay more for less service. That is unacceptable. We will stop Stephen Harper’s plan to end door-to-door mail delivery…” While Canada Post announced just after the last federal election that it was “suspending future deployment of the program”, door-to-door delivery has not been restored to all households.
We have also supported postal banking. Our ally the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) says, “Canada needs a postal bank. Thousands of rural towns and villages in our country do not have a bank, but many of them have a post office that could provide financial services. As well, nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders. A postal bank could be that alternative.” Canada Post already provides some financial services such as postal money orders, domestic and international money transfers, bill payment and financial transaction and payment notices, and prepaid Visa cards. The new services it could offer would include access by all bank and credit union customers to their accounts to deposit or withdraw cash, savings accounts and low-fee chequing accounts, low-interest credit cards; and prepaid debit cards.
In terms of a timeline, the Task Force will produce a discussion paper in September, it will consult with Canadians between September and November, then a parliamentary committee will table a report in December, and the Government will announce its decision in Spring 2017.
To submit your comments to the Task Force, you can e-mail TPSGC.ExamendeSPC-CPCReview.PWGSC@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca