The NDP to Reverse Canada Post’s Elimination of Door-to-Door Delivery

Update: see previous post – January 29, 2014 Canada Post: Harper’s Conservatives Vote to Kill Door-to-Door Mail Delivery

The NDP has said it will, if elected, tell Canada Post to reverse course on its plan to replace some home delivery with community mailboxes — the most contentious part of its five-point, five-year strategy. The Bloc Québécois and Greens also oppose the end of door-to-door and, like the NDP, have also come out against the postal service's plan to eliminate as many as 8,000 jobs.
The NDP has said it will, if elected, tell Canada Post to reverse course on its plan to replace some home delivery with community mailboxes — the most contentious part of its five-point, five-year strategy. The Bloc Québécois and Greens also oppose the end of door-to-door and, like the NDP, have also come out against the postal service’s plan to eliminate as many as 8,000 jobs.

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It’s been almost two years since Canada Post announced its controversial plan to overhaul its operations, and the outcome of Monday’s election may determine whether it will ever finish the job.

The NDP has said it will, if elected, tell Canada Post to reverse course on its plan to replace some home delivery with community mailboxes — the most contentious part of its five-point, five-year strategy — while the Tories say they stand by the changes which were announced, during their watch, in late 2013.

The Bloc Québécois and Greens also oppose the end of door-to-door and, like the NDP, have also come out against the postal service’s plan to eliminate as many as 8,000 jobs.

Canadian Federal leaders of the five main political parties. From left to right: PQ leader 68 year-old Gilles Duceppe, Conservative leader 56-year-old Stephen Harper, Green leader 61-year-old Elizabeth May, NDP leader 60-year-old Tom Mulcair and Liberal leader 43-year-old Justin Trudeau.
Canadian Federal leaders of the five main political parties. From left to right: PQ leader Gilles Duceppe opposes the end to door-to-door delivery and the elimination of 8,000 jobs, Conservative leader Stephen Harper supports Canadians losing door-to-door delivery and the loss of 8,000 jobs, Green leader Elizabeth May opposes the end to door-to-door delivery and the elimination of 8,000 jobs, NDP leader Tom Mulcair will restore door-to-door delivery and the 8,000 jobs, lost as a result and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau (who will promises to “review” this question, not reverse it, if elected).

The Liberals have been less clear on their position — more on them later.

Protests, at least one arrest, and even a jackhammer-wielding mayor have greeted Canada Post’s efforts at reform. But a change in course now would be a mistake according to Walid Hejazi, a professor of international business at the University of Toronto.

NDP MP Olivia Chow speaking during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. After Canada Post announced that they would eliminate door-to-door delivery and 8,000 jobs (the only country in the G7 to eliminate this postal service), Olivia Chow moved a motion, in the House of Commons, to restore door-to-door delivery on January 28, 2014. 146 Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper voted against the motion. 128 NDP, Liberals (including Justin Trudeau) and Green Party voted in favour of the motion. Now Trudeau is saying that if elected he will "review it". He doesn't commit to restoring it. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP MP Olivia Chow speaking during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. After Canada Post announced that they would eliminate door-to-door delivery and 8,000 jobs (the only country in the G7 to eliminate this postal service), Olivia Chow moved a motion, in the House of Commons, to restore door-to-door delivery on January 28, 2014. 146 Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper, voted against the motion. 128 NDP, Liberals (including Justin Trudeau) and Green Party voted in favour of the motion. Now Trudeau is saying that if elected he will “review it”. He doesn’t commit to restoring it. Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick.

Hejazi says Canada Post is “doing exactly the right thing,” by putting more emphasis on parcel delivery while trimming delivery routes.

“The business case for delivering to the door is not there anymore,” he told CBC News. “If [Canada Post] was a purely private company this is exactly what that company would do.”

Royal Mail privatized

But politics tends to get in the way of postal reform.

U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said as much in a recent speech in Washington; blaming politicians and unions for holding up efforts to turn around his troubled organization, which has been doing a slow-motion but spot-on impression of the Hindenburg as it struggles to adapt to a 21st century marketplace driven by parcels and e-commerce.

In the October 19, 2015 Federal election tomorrow, saving or restoring door-to-door mail delivery has become a major election issue. The NDP has vowed to reverse the cuts, while the Liberals have promised a moratorium on any cuts at Canada Post while they study the future of the corporation. Protests and at least one arrest have greeted Canada Post's plan to phase out door-to-door delivery. Canadians own Canada Post, not Stephen Harper and his federal Conservative party who support destroying it.
In the October 19, 2015 Federal election tomorrow, saving or restoring door-to-door mail delivery has become a major election issue. The NDP has vowed to reverse the cuts, while the Liberals have promised a moratorium on any cuts at Canada Post while they study the future of the corporation. Protests and at least one arrest have greeted Canada Post’s plan to phase out door-to-door delivery. Canadians own Canada Post, not Stephen Harper and his federal Conservative party who support destroying it.

The U.S. Postal Service lost $26 billion over the past three years, Donahoe said, according to reports.

“What’s holding us up? Myopia, shortsightedness,” he said. “We never get past the narrow set of interests that are determined to preserve the status quo.”

The U.S. has propped up its postal service while the U.K. has gone in the other direction and recently finalized the privatization of its similarly challenged Royal Mail, which has been carrying letters around the British Isles since 1516. It is led by former Canada Post CEO Moya Greene.

Moya Greene began the course of Canada Post's current course as CEO between May/05 to May/10 which Deepak Chopra above continues. He was appointed by his buddy Stephen Harper on Feb.1/11 for a five (5) year term, ending on January 31, 2016, which coincidentally is the same date that the CUPW/STTP Urban Ops. Collective agreement expires.
Moya Greene began the course of Canada Post’s current course as CEO between May/05 to May/10 which Deepak Chopra above continues. He was appointed by his buddy Stephen Harper on Feb.1/11 for a five (5) year term, ending on January 31, 2016, which coincidentally is the same date that the CUPW/STTP Urban Ops. Collective agreement expires. In August, 2015 (fearing a loss at the polls on Oct.19) Harper extended Chopra’s appointment for five (5) years (Feb.1/16 to Jan. 31/21), at a maximum salary of $518,000.00 a year. A new government should name a new President/CEO of Canada Post, but may not.

The sale, finalized earlier this month, brought in 3.3 billion pounds (just over $6.5 billion Cdn), though there were complaints the British government undervalued some of the shares that were first put on sale in 2013.

A Canada Post letter carrier at a relay box. In addition to introducing community mail boxes to homes/businesses that currently have door-to-door delivery, Canada Post continues to eliminate thousands of jobs across the country. Canada Post is phasing out door-to-door delivery of regular mail to urban residents and increased the cost of postage in a major move to try to reduce significant, regular losses. But experts are divided on whether the postal service in on the right course.
Canada Post vehicles, not being used because there are no homes to deliver to. Chopra hopes to eliminate delivery to 900,000 residences by the years end.  In addition to introducing community mail boxes to homes/businesses that currently have door-to-door delivery, Canada Post continues to eliminate thousands of jobs across the country. Canada Post is phasing out door-to-door delivery of regular mail to urban residents and increased the cost of postage in a major move to try to reduce significant, regular losses. But experts are divided on whether the postal service in on the right course.

‘Death spiral’

But one analyst says the route Canada Post has charted leads not to a bright future, but into a “death spiral” of higher prices and poorer service.

Benjamin Dachis, an analyst with the C.D. Howe Institute, says the five-point plan will send customers into the arms of Canada Post’s competitors in the parcel sector while failing to address its cumbersome expenses.

Trudeau

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has vowed to put a moratorium on Canada Post’s plans, pending review, but stopped short of saying he’d call for an about-face. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Stephen Harper believes in Canada Post's plans to totally eliminate door-to-door delivery for all Canadians. He also believes in eliminating 8,000 jobs at the same time. If elected, he will speed up Canada Post's plans and will believe if re-elected, that Canadians have given him a mandate to be the only country to totally eliminate door-to-door delivery.
Stephen Harper believes in Canada Post’s plans to totally eliminate door-to-door delivery for all Canadians. He also believes in eliminating 8,000 jobs at the same time. If elected, he will speed up Canada Post’s plans and will believe if re-elected, that Canadians have given him a mandate to be the only country to totally eliminate door-to-door delivery. As a parting gift, Harper extended his buddy’s appointment for President and CEO of Canada Post for another five (5) years commencing on February 1, 2016.

“Reduced mail routes are going to help, but they still don’t address the chronic issues … embedded in the labour costs,” which were 71 per cent of Canada Post’s total costs in 2011, he said, adding the Crown corporation is “just fiddling with the margins” by cutting routes and switching to community mailboxes.

Dachis penned a series of recommendations for reforming Canada Post in mid 2013. He wanted it to privatize pickup and delivery services — competition would keep a lid on labour costs — while keeping the core, organizational components public.

He also said Ottawa should subsidize rural postal services, which are more expensive to operate and are currently paid for by customers in urban markets.

The inevitable storm over privatization would surely dwarf the current argle-bargle over home delivery and job losses, but Dachis noted those involved are “going to have a public relations battle, one way or another.”

Under the current plan, Canada Post is fighting with its customers, employees and cities. His plan would have likely only been an issue with the employees, he says.

On December 11, 2013 Deepak Chopra announced Canada Post's plans to ensure that Canada was the only G7 country to eliminate door-to-door delivery. Even though the announcement was made when Parliment was no longer in session, Stephen Harper agreed with the move. This was confirmed on January 28, 2014 when Harper voted for the end to this essential Canadian service.
On December 11, 2013 Deepak Chopra announced Canada Post’s plans to ensure that Canada was the only G7 country to eliminate door-to-door delivery. Even though the announcement was made when Parliment was no longer in session, Stephen Harper agreed with the move. This was confirmed on January 28, 2014 when Harper voted for the end to this essential Canadian service.

Given a pass?

What does all this mean for Canada Post’s future? With some polls suggesting the Liberals are set to form a minority government, the picture is murky.

The Liberals have said they would put a moratorium on Canada Post’s plan to cut home delivery, pending review, but have stopped short of saying they would call for an about-face.

But as Hejazi points out, a minority government means working with partners, which in this case would mostly likely be the NDP.

“I believe if the Liberals or Conservatives win and form the government [Canada Post] will be given a pass for the next number of years, which should be enough to complete their transformation,” he said; which, in his view, is the right thing to do.

But if the Liberals ever need a favour from the NDP, it will presumably come at a price.

It’s not hard to imagine NDP Leader Tom Mulcair sending his bill to Justin Trudeau through the mail.

The composition of Canada's new parliment on October 20, 2015 is important for all Canadians.
The composition of Canada’s new parliment on October 20, 2015 is important for all Canadians. Parliment has been under renovation for years, awaiting a new majority government to move in.
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