Keeping Canada Post Strong
Canada’s public postal service is a critical service that belongs to all Canadians. We cannot afford to lose a strong Canada Post.
The Green Party supports key recommendations of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW): Restoring Home Delivery service, Diversifying the services Canada Post offers, and consolidating delivery procedures to simplify the process while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. nGreens commit to implementing these recommendations in the next Parliament.
5 100 000: Number of households affected by Canada Post’s elimination of home delivery. On December 11, 2013, Canada Post announced its Five Point Action Plan designed to reduce operating costs. The plan was a radical change in direction for the 147-year old institution.
The most notable reform was the elimination of home delivery service to 5.1 million households across Canada without any consultation. Over 577 municipalities passed resolutions to oppose Canada Post’s decision and 58% of Canadians opposed the conversion to Community Mailboxes. Eliminating home delivery disproportionately affected the elderly and Canadians living with disabilities, for whom home delivery of letters and parcels provides a critical link. 80% of Canadians agree that losing home delivery “will pose a real hardship for some people.”
Furthermore, a study commissioned by the City of Hamilton noted that maintenance of Community Mailboxes would cost municipalities $577.00 per location. Downloading these costs to cash-strapped cities will only further limit other necessary infrastructure investments, including road maintenance, wastewater treatment and retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency.
The Green Party calls on Canada Post to restore home delivery.
Diversifying Services 63%: Percentage of Canadians that support postal banking
Until 1968, Canada Post offered banking services, as laid out in the Canadian Post Office Act (1867). At its peak in 1908, deposits equaled $47.5 million in total, but declined as a result of the Finance Department’s lowering of interest rates on deposits at the behest of chartered banks2 . Between 2009 and 2013, Canada Post commissioned a study to examine the benefits of re-instituting postal banking services in Canada. The report’s findings indicated that postal banking for Canadians was a ‘win-winwin strategy’ for Canada Post. However, by the fall of 2013, the study was mysteriously ended.
Canada Post’s Five Point Action Plan was written under the premise that Canada Post will be operating at a loss. It even adopted new accounting rules in 2013 and restated their 2012 financial results as a loss. However, the evidence does not support the premise: Over the last 19 years, Canada Post has reported surplus profits in 17 of the past 19 years.
In 2014, the public postal service reported an operational profit of $299 million, approximately $555 million greater than its projected numbers. Two Conference Board of Canada Consultants recommended, “…today’s postal administrations can either sink, while continuing to complain about declining mail volumes and electronic alternatives in a world of rapid technological change, or swim, by harnessing new technology, forming new business partnerships, and adopting new ways of doing business…”
The Green Party of Canada calls on Canada Post to revisit postal banking and financial services so that it can continue to remain profitable. Canada Post should consider the models adopted in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, and New Zealand, which have had a great deal of success. Canada Post should also consider expanding Small Businesses 59%: The increase in price of individual stamps as announced in Canada Post’s FivePoint Plan Small businesses are especially reliant on Canada Post’s services to remain profitable. According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, 40% of members send 50 or more pieces of letter mail per month, while 46% continue to rely on cheque payments from customers.
As part of its Five Point Plan released in December 2013, Canada Post announced increases to the price of stamps and postage rates. The price of individual stamps increased by 59%, while the price of a stamp book or coil saw a 35% increase. Pre-sorted and incentive letter rates saw a 15% increase, and metered mail a 19% increase. These increases have had a significant negative impact on small businesses.
The Green Party calls on Canada Post to consult with small businesses and the CFIB and reverse the postage rate hikes.