No more Please Mr Postman at Canada Post

(Updated) Mail delivery in Canada is changing. Canada Post is saying goodbye to the door-to-door letter carrier. Blaming rising costs and falling mail volumes, the crown corporation says it’s impossible to continue its traditional operations.When the news broke this morning it completely caught unionized workers by surprise. Some postal workers didn’t even know about the announced changes. In fact CHCH’s Kate Carnegie broke the news to one carrier this afternoon. Canada Post serves just over 15 million addresses. A third, or five million, receive mail delivered to their own doorstep on a daily basis. It’s a service that will be phased out in urban areas over the next five years. The crown corporation says that by eliminating that service and replacing it with community mail boxes it can save between $700 million to $900 million per year. Without these cuts it will be losing $1 billion a year by 2020 and says that would become a burden on taxpayers. Denis Lemelin, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers says it will fight the corporation’s decision to eliminate door-to-door mail delivery, even as the company struggles with continued losses. “Seniors of this country, people with disabilities who say they receive a good postal service and they want to maintain this service so we will stand with them and fight.”Canada’s senior population will be inconvenienced the most.“I do get mail delivered and I like it that way. I don’t want it to change, I think it’s crazy.”Pamela Clark of the Ancaster Senior Centre warns: “I think we may be looking at more accidents with seniors if they have to be mobile to get to mail boxes every day to be able to get their billing because a lot of them are not using computers.”Those seniors already using community mail boxes they say it’s a real hassle and can be dangerous. “There are no sidewalks, we just walk on the side of the road.”“We don’t have door-to-door service now. And we have a collection of boxes at the end of the street which is a giant size pain in the butt.”The post office plans to announce the first neighbourhoods changing over to community boxes in the second half of next year. The change in service will also affect jobs. Canada Post says about 6,000 to 8,000 positions will be eliminated over the same time period, mainly through attrition. The postal service expects nearly 15,000 employees to retire or leave the company in the next five years.The union representing postal workers says instead of cutting jobs and services, postal banking is the way to go. That’s where post offices offer basic banking services as a way to increase revenues.Another change will be the price of stamps: next spring, if you buy stamps in rolls or booklets it will cost you 85 cents each, up from the current 63 cents, pending approval of the government. The cost of an individual stamp will go to $1.Link: Canada Posts’s five-year planRelated video: Sean Leathong talks to users of community mailboxes

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