Thursday, December 12, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday, December 12, 2013

Canada Post to phase out urban home mail delivery

Canada Post is phasing out door-to-door delivery of regular mail to urban residents and increasing the cost of stamps in a major move to try to reduce significant, regular losses.

The Crown corporation announced its plans Wednesday, saying urban home delivery will be phased out over the next five years.

Starting March 31, the cost of a stamp will increase to 85 cents each if bought in a pack, up from 63 cents. Individual stamps will cost a dollar.
Canada Post said that over the next five years, it will eliminate 6,000 to 8,000 positions, but it expects 15,000 workers will leave the company or retire within that period.

“With the increasing use of digital communication and the historic decline of letter mail volumes, Canada Post has begun to post significant financial losses,” the corporation said in a news release.
“If left unchecked, continued losses would soon jeopardize its financial self-sufficiency and become a significant burden on taxpayers and customers.”

The first communities that will switch to community mailboxes will be announced in the second half of 2014, according to the release.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said in September the idea of cutting door-to-door delivery in urban areas was worth considering in the face of $104 million in losses in the second quarter.

Her office issued a news release Wednesday saying she looks forward to seeing progress because of this plan.

“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,” she said in the release.
Raitt’s office added that mail volumes have dropped almost 25 per cent per household in the last five years.

NDP MP Peter Julian accused the Conservative government of being disrespectful by making the announcement the day after Parliament took its annual Christmas break. (Source: CBC News)