Canada Post was created to provide a service to Canadians. It should not be expected to be a “for profit” enterprise, it is a government monopoly because it is a public utility. It should allow Canadians to stay in touch and enable our mail order businesses to compete in a global market.
Rather than considering the decades of erosion of service, the blame for the high cost of Canada Post is always laid at the feet of its employees. Rather slashing benefits or bringing the wages of the Postal Employees down to match those paid by sweatshops, some kind of accommodation may be necessary, perhaps something like the reduction of mail delivery from 5 days a week to three. Whatever is done, Negotiations and accommodations must be arrived at through consultation with postal workers.
There is a huge misconception that digital business will replace real world businesses. This may be true at some point in the far future, if someone invents Star Trek like transporters to ship goods, or machines to generate goods out of the air, but that is not happening now, or any time soon. (3-D printers are not magic; like photocopiers they require both something to copy and the raw materials necessary to create the copy.)
We live in a global economy. In order to compete, we need a postal service that empowers Canadian businesses to ship our physical goods around the world.
The Internet allows individuals and independents to market and sell our wares online. But whether we sell our physical goods from our own website, or through eBay or Etsy, if the cost of shipping is twice the cost of manufacture, Canadian small business — our best form of growth — are priced out of the market for anything but high ticket items.
Fixing Canada Post
The way to fix Canada Post is to increase and improve service, not to slash it.
- Remove Canada Post’s top brass
If a service can’t be properly provided by a monopoly, the fault can be laid at the door of the executives incapable of properly managing it. The only exception is that whoever was responsible for Canada Post’s only intelligent decision in decades, the “Permanent Stamp” should be kept on— assuming they’ve not already been let go.
- Resume Core Service
- Re-introduce reduced rates for postcards, which should be no more than half the cost of regular mail.
- Re-introduce reduced rates for unsealed Christmas Cards.
- Re-establish graduated rates, both for letter mail and parcels. In particular it is crucial to provide a slow but inexpensive option for Canadians and Canadian mail-order businesses.
- Scrap super boxes and resume home delivery. Any place home delivery is unfeasible must provide an accessible local post office branch.
- Instead of making up rates daily on an individual basis, it is important to Publish a Rate Schedule, at least quarterly (although annually would be better). This would make the service more appealing for private citizens; allowing people mail gifts to family and friends, as well as facilitate the shipping needs of Canadian mail order businesses, enabling them to reasonably budget for shipping costs.
- Stop trying to compete with same day courier services. Once the core service is running well, there may be room for expansion in this direction, but not before, and never at the expense of the core business of delivering the mail.
- Stop trying to break into the email market. Many Canadians receive our bills online and pay them online. We do this already; we certainly don’t require Canada Post to facilitate these transactions. If at some point Canada Post can offer some innovation to this, it would be worth considering. But again, not at the expense of the core service.
- Provide customer service. Stop limiting Canadians wishing to make complaints to telephone or email; provide a postal mail address for complaints and queries, and respond to all complaints reasonably and in a timely manner.
There is no good reason why Canada Post can not again be a vibrant service; Canadians love to get mail.
Canada Post 1851 Queen Victoria Stamp is in the Public Domain ~ via Wikipedia