Public consultation for Canada Post coming up Feb. 17 in Nanaimo

MP Jean Crowder encourages people to come to a public meeting to discuss the proposed changes to Canada Post.

Canadians got a lump of coal this Christmas when Canada Post announced it was going to end door-to-door home delivery.

Although the number of letters Canada Post delivers is declining each year, the number of parcels it delivers is actually going up.

So why has Canada Post decided to cut jobs, reduce services, and increase prices? It claims it has to take these steps now to guarantee its future even though it is a profitable company.

In 16 of the last 17 years, Canada Post ran at a profit, generating a 1.7-billion-dollar surplus. The only year it didn’t generate a profit was the year Canada Post decided to lock out its employees. And it also had to make one-time payments to meet its pay equity obligations in that same year.

On Jan. 28, New Democrats used their Opposition Day to debate the following motion:

“That, in the opinion of the House, door-to-door mail delivery is a valuable service provided by Canada Post, and that this House express its opposition to Canada becoming the only country in the G7 without such a service.”

Our first speaker was Olivia Chow, who focused on an opportunity I know many small communities would welcome:

“If we look at other models around the world—other models in the G7 where every country still provides door-to-door delivery in urban areas while facing the same challenges as Canada Post—we see there is an excellent business case for the return of postal banking, providing services and meeting needs not met by the traditional banking sector.

“According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, one million Canadians do not have banking services. They rely on payday loan companies such as Money Mart to access funds and are paying enormously high interest rates. France’s La Banque Postale, New Zealand’s Kiwibank and Switzerland’s PostFinance all provide banking services and thus increase their profit and revenue. There is no reason why Canada Post cannot consider doing the same.

“This would mean competitive new banking services for Canadians, giving diversity of choice and reaching people who fall through the cracks. At the same time, it would generate revenue and stability that would boost and strengthen Canada Post and support our postal services.”

I encourage you to go online and look for the Debates on Jan. 28 to read other ideas for our postal service.

And I also hope you will consider coming to a public meeting to discuss the proposed changes and to share your ideas on how Canada Post can remain a vital and important public service for all Canadians.

The Public Meeting on Postal Service Changes — an open community consultation — will be held Monday, Feb. 17 from 2-3 p.m. in the Beban Social Centre Lounge at 2300 Bowen Rd. in Nanaimo. All are welcome.