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Letter: Review of Canada Post critical says Local CUPW President

To The Editor:

As you may know, the federal government has launched a review of Canada Post. It has indicated that we will all have an opportunity to provide input throughout the review by way of mail, email, social media and other means. But the main public consultation process will be conducted by a parliamentary committee between September and November of 2016. There are currently no details on what these consultations will involve.

It’s vital that the committee consultation process be open with room for everyone’s comments, ideas, and questions in a public forum. A forward-looking forum where we can discuss ways to build a successful 21st century post office, to create new revenue streams and meet Canadians’ needs.

Mike Palecek, National President, greeted the report by saying, “We’ve got more outlets than Tim Hortons, we’ve got the biggest retail network in Canada, and we deliver everywhere in this country. Imagine what we could do with these assets.”

We welcome the public review of the postal service, and most of its terms. The government has said that “everything is on the table,” but not privatization of the service.

We need to mobilize our allies and public supporters to make their ideas heard when the time comes.

The public has told us, and will now tell the government that Canada Post must restore door-to-door delivery where it’s been cut.

All our concerns about community mailboxes have proven true. The transition was terribly planned, people can’t get their mail because of frozen locks and snowbanks, people’s lawns are ruined, and traffic problems are emerging.

Seniors and people with disabilities have been downgraded to a second-class, inaccessible service. The government must reduce barriers to public services, not introduce new ones.

Postal Banking is a topic of discussion these days in both the U.S.A. and Canada as a way to ensure postal service’s financial viability. We hope to hear other ideas too, from far and wide, to make the most of the country’s largest retail infrastructure, and its largest logistics and delivery network. This is a service-delivery platform, connecting people from coast to coast to coast, built by and owned by the public, and now people have an opportunity to keep it robust for the future.

The public will be interested in new and expanded services to keep Canada Post viable. It’s important that the government listen to their ideas.

Rural, Northern, and First Nations communities will have to make their needs known: for better and more inclusive services in their home communities, financial services to keep people connected, a restored Food Mail program and others.

This is also the time to hear from the public on how to build a greener postal service. It’s a chance for Canada to act on our commitments and lead a transition to greener services and greener jobs.

But the process must be transparent and based on facts.  

We must look at the real story of Canada Post’s finances, not the absurd losses that were projected to scare people into accepting less service for higher postage.

Canada Post needs to release its internal study on postal banking in full. This review is no time to keep hiding research that called the idea a “win-win” solution for the future of the postal service.

As postal workers we should talk to our families and communities about why the review is critical. We have a real opportunity here to promote universal access to financial services, to restore postal service to how it should be, and to secure our jobs through ideas to keep Canada Post profitable in years to come.

And that opportunity starts now. The review is asking the public to share their views through a ‘question of the week’. The first one was “What do you hope the Canada Post Review achieves? We’d like you to answer as many questions as possible.

Please write down this URL or Google ‘Canada Post Review Question of the Week’ and go to ‘Share your views’.

On Facebook, you’ll find the review page at https://www.facebook.com/Canada-Post-Review- 521437564704406/

If you tweet your input or post on Instagram, use #CPReview2016 to join the conversation.

Sincerely,
Brenda Muscoby-Yanke
President Nelson Local 790