Five reasons why the latest Canada Post changes aren’t as bad as you think

Kate Wilkinson 8
CP

CP

Canada Post’s decision to phase out home mail delivery over the next five years reverberated through headlines Wednesday morning and spurred a lively debate in Parliament this afternoon. The changes sound ominous—thousands of jobs eliminated and the end of urban mail delivery as we know it. But when you dig a little deeper, Canada Post’s decision to take action in response to its falling revenue is necessary to its survival. And with many of us choosing to pay our bills and send messages online, the restructuring was inevitable. Here, then, are five reasons why the latest Canada Post changes aren’t as bad as you think:

1. The job cuts are mostly through attrition

In Wednesday’s announcement, Canada Post noted that between 6,000 and 8,000 jobs will be cut in order to save on labour costs. The good news is that most of these positions will be eliminated through attrition. Canada Post expects around 15,000 employees to retire in the next five years.

2. Canadians who still get their mail delivered to their home are in the minority (about one-third of the population)

The move toward having everyone access their mail via a community mailbox is really just an effort to create a common delivery system. The majority of Canadians pick up their parcels and letters from a community mailbox, and if it’s going to save Canada Post financially, it just makes sense to have everyone getting their mail the same way.

3. The service is adapting to our mail delivery habits

It’s not Canada Post’s fault that it has to start finding ways of saving its own skin. As a society, we’ve stopped dealing with a lot of matters through the traditional postal system in favour of viewing our bills and accessing services online. According to Canada Post, there were 1 billion fewer pieces of mail delivered in 2012 than in 2006. Parcel deliveries are up, but still only account for 22% of the mail delivered in Canada (and many packages can be delivered to the larger compartments in a community mailbox).

4. Canada Post is bleeding money

The Crown corporation is in desperate need of turning its financial performance around, or it risks causing even more problems for its balance sheet, the government and Canadian taxpayers. Much has been made of the service’s plan to raise rates, but a look at its financial status shows that it really doesn’t have a choice. In the most recent third quarter, it posted a $129 million loss (last year’s third quarter loss was $145 million), following a $76 million loss in the quarter before that. Based on a projection made by the Conference Board of Canada, the Post warns that it will be losing about $1 billion per year by 2020 if it doesn’t shift its operations. In this Canadian Business article from October, Mount Allison University president Robert Campbell predicted that Canada Post has about a five-year window to reverse its financial fate. There’s no time like the present to start making drastic changes.

5. There will be more post office locations

One positive development from the restructuring is the crown corporation’s plan to expand on the number of Canada Post franchisees, which means more kiosks where you can make postal purchases, send parcels and pick up mail. If they can put this plan into action, it will be helpful no matter where you live.

With files from the Canadian Press and John Lorinc.

8 comments on “Five reasons why the latest Canada Post changes aren’t as bad as you think

  1. “One positive development”"more kiosks” means more working poor … will never be able to afford their own home.
    “a projection made by the Conference Board of Canada” of which Deepak Chopra (CEO of Canada Post) is a director and said what he wanted them to say.
    “Parcel deliveries are up, but still only account for 22% of the mail delivered in Canada” yea right … CPC shows NO ONE their actual books!!
    ” The good news is that most of these positions will be eliminated through attrition” in 2011 Harper/Raitt said mail delivery was “essential to the Canadian economy” … now eliminating 8000 jobs is a good thing?!?
    “The move toward having everyone access their mail via a community mailbox is really just an effort to create a common delivery system” did you right this or Deepak … lol

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  2. I find it very difficult to have any sympathy for Canada Post or its Unionized workers. They have been unreliable and act as if they could not care less. The carrier that delivers to my office goes out of his way to avoid delivering our mail if it is not addressed exactly as he deems is correct, yet he regularly delivers us mail that is addressed to the jewellery store downstairs. I have lived in the United States in the early 1990′s in a 375 unit condo. I went back 7 years later and the letter carrier still knew me by name. We cross the border often to mail letters and packages to the US and Europe because the people in the post offices there are pleasant, helpful and the mail is delivered in half to a quarter of the time compared to mailing from Canada. Recently my wife forgot some medication and it was sent by expedited or express post with tracking. It was supposed to take 3 days. It took 5 days to get from Vancouver to the US border. It then took less than 24 hours to get from Chicago to Florida.
    Canada Post has to recognize that there is competition out there and service and reliability is what people want and need. My office currently uses Canada Post if there is no other choice.

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  4. Why can’t they just go to 3 day a week delivery? That should save 30% of labour costs, accounting for shorter routes due to higher volumes.

    OR charge more. I’d be happy to pay an extra $.10 a letter to save the inconvenience and horrific environmental impact of millions more people driving to get their mail. This just does not make sense in the inner cities.

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  8. a pox on Harper, his gummerment and his overpaid union minions, the corporate media and on the people of Canada for being skinned without complaint or rebuke to the masters they keep voting in, and for so many of them placing their mailboxes in inconvenient places for selfish reasons without regard to the cost of servicing their selfishness. There are numerous aspects to be fixed but that will not be done because Canadians are sheeple who swallow media swill whole. We got the politicians and confiscations we deserve. Thanks idiots.

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