http://www.cupw.ca August 9, 2013
OTTAWA –The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is dismayed the C.D. Howe Institute’s e‑brief on postal reform offers only tired ideas for Canada Post that would result in service cutbacks.
Denis Lemelin, CUPW National President asks, “Why doesn’t it occur to this prominent private-sector-oriented think-tank that Canada Post should raise new revenue? Other postal administrations are bringing in expanded services, and staying viable by doing so. Why is the C.D. Howe Institute so short on innovation?”
Postal services globally are facing the same challenges. Postal operators in France, Italy, New Zealand and Brazil have responded by expanding into banking and financial services. PostFinance, Swiss Post’s postal banking and financial services arm, actually generated 71% of the company’s operating results in 2012.
The e-brief, “How Ottawa Can Deliver A Reformed Canada Post,” released August 8 by the C.D. Howe Institute, advocates an approach that likely leads to service cuts and government subsidization. It recommends contracting out, privatization, and tampering with the universal service obligation (USO) that ensures lettermail delivery to and from anywhere in the country for a single price.
“The C.D. Howe institute was making the same case for deregulation and privatization in 2007, while Canada Post was making profits” says Gayle Bossenberry, CUPW 1st National Vice‑President. “These are tired old ideas, not viable solutions for a valuable public service.
Furthermore, the public is clearly against this approach. Recent Strategic Communications poll results (May 2013) show that 71% of the general population opposes deregulating or privatizing postal services, even more so (88%) if it would mean the end of one-price-goes-anywhere service for the cost of a stamp. The C.D. Howe report does not value universal postal service, but the customers – the owners of Canada Post – clearly do.