Should Canada Post end home delivery in urban areas?




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Should Canada Post end home delivery in urban areas?

  1. The question isn’t should they, rather how will they. It’s going to be a logistical nightmare figuring out where to build all those mailboxes in high-density areas. If it was a simple, or inexpensive, operation, CanPost would have done it ages ago. The only reason they aim to do so now is to unload a workforce that has become a bigger burden than this mess will be. Best they can hope for now is for someone to shut down the whole operation before they have to implement these changes.

    By the way, if, according to StatCan as of 2011, 81% of Canadians live in urban areas, how is it that this change only affects one-third of Canadians, and why are headlines calling this the end of home delivery in urban areas? At best, this must be the end of delivery in remaining urban areas, no?

    • I was wondering about that too–but I suspect they’re not counting the burbs. Too bad the latter get to pick Toronto’s mayor though. Even so, I don’t see the Harper government trying to rejig political ridings in order to address rural Canada’s unfair electoral advantage. Also, don’t we pay higher domestic airfare in order to maintain service to less travelled, more rural parts of the country?

    • The high-density areas. Oh yeah!

      In my building the bank of addresses covers half the lobby wall – 20×5 ft say. I live in a neighborhood of apartment buildings. No single family dwellings, ok? Four blocks of three-story blocks and towers.

      What are these geniuses going to do? Put the mailboxes on the street? In the weather and with the vandals, the thieves looking for checks and credit cards?

      So they’re going to line the street with graffiti-adorned and battered mailboxes – or buy an auditorium with comprehensive surveillance. The advantage to them would be that the money goes to contractors rather than to unions. I suppose that works out for them.

      There are no business vacancies in the neighborhood and we have enough rowdy retirees to make significant noise about how ugly and inconvenient these mailboxes are.

      They might hope for cost savings by buying the worker a van or a motorcycle to reduce the minute walk to a five second ride. With the starting and the stopping and the parking, the locking-up, the walker would finish the block faster and, considering equipment cost, fuel, and maintenance, a big bang cheaper.

      So I doubt that there will be a change to the high-density delivery. It will be in the burbs, starting with the poor neighborhoods with the ritzy areas scheduled for sometime in the 2020′s.

  2. If Canada Post can save huge costs by reducing the existing home delivery service, I wish they would pass on some of the savings and stimulate small business in Canada by reducing the ridiculous parcel postage rates. Canadian online sellers can’t compete with the US because of the cost of postage.

    • No, Canada Post should not be used as a tool to subsidize online retailers, or any other businesses (including magazine publishers, like Macleans).

      If you want more competitive shipping rates, use UPS. They provide a much better service as well. Canada Post doesn’t have a monopoly on parcel delivery.

      • I see, if Canada Post lowered their parcel postage rates to something reasonable that would be a “subsidy”, whereas UPS rates are “competitive” (UPS, a US company, btw). Cannot Canada Post be competitive also? I guess my point is, if they have discovered cost savings, maybe it is an opportunity to become competitive.

      • Funny that you should mention UPS. Several friends and I, unrelated to the Canada Post story, were just commenting the other day about how terrible UPS delivery is, and how we never seem to have problems with Purolator or FedEx, but ALWAYS run in to difficulties with UPS (this in the context of two of us having to re-direct UPS Christmas packages in the same week when they failed to deliver them). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to re-direct a UPS package to a secondary address, or worse, find the time to get all the way out to their central facility (two subways and two buses) because they failed completely to deliver my package to me, and made me come pick it up myself.

        Through my own anecdotal experience, if given the option to have something delivered by Canada Post or UPS, I’d choose Canada Post ever single time.

  3. How is it that 2/3 of Canadian households don’t have home delivery? I know very few people who’s mail is delivered to a box around the corner instead of to their door or mailbox at the end of the laneway, and they all live in cities. I grew up in a rural area and they still get their mail delivered to their mailbox at the end of the laneway every weekday. And some of them are elderly, one can’t drive anymore. He would go nuts if he didn’t get his paper on time everyday (which is delivered by Canada Post now due to cutbacks at the newspaper). If they’re gong to do this, they need to leave an option open for people to get home delivery if they pay a bit extra for it as some can’t get to the boxes to get their mail due to age, disability, etc.

    • Glad you brought up this truth. Many of us disabled people would be willing to pay a bit extra to obtain or keep our home delivery, whether in urban or rural areas. I used to fear for my disabled mother who daily had to get across the icy street and over a snow bank to reach her rural mailbox. We petitioned the government to ensure home delivery to all in our rural community, gathering more than 500 names to no avail….and that was 15 years ago!

  4. Where I live there is a stretch of apartment buildings containing thousand of units in maybe half a kilometer. Where is the sense in making all these people go off-site to newly created mail boxes when CP can continue the current service with a minimal number of already employed mailpeople.

    • It won’t change for apartment dwellers, for exactly that reason. The communal boxes are already in place

      • Are you sure?

        Has someone specifically said that? I heard that a month or two ago when the idea first (?) came out, but not this time.

  5. Not much choice here – the mail delivery business has collapsed – Even cheques are no longer being mailed. The Post Office gave up the parcel business many years ago when they couldn’t compete with people like Fed-Ex (almost made it back in with Purolater, but too little too late & too expensive). Now the question is will they be able to make it while dependant on the Flyer Business or will all those desperate Newspapers take that away from them too.

    Hadn’t heard until this came up that they had allowed their pensions to go unfunded through all those profitable years that they did have since becoming a crown corporation. Oh well what do we expect from Governments, take your pay today and let the kids worry about tommorrow.

    • Canada Post’s delivery has collapsed because of inefficiency. Fed-Ex, Purolater, ICS Courier and others were simply faster, more efficient, more reliable, and cheaper. The question is, how can Japan, USA, Korea, Australia, etc., make their home delivery systems work when Canada cannot? Even if home delivery is eliminated, Canada Post will still have to sort mail and deliver it to mail box hubs. And it is still going to be slow and inefficient and losing money. This is what we get from governments. Put Canada’s postal service in the hands of a Japanese company and they will make it work.

      • Australia Post contracts out mail delivery to contractors riding motor bikes. A lot of our services here were cut when the CEO (from Canada) went chop, chop.

      • Fed-Ex, Purolater, ICS Courier and others were simply faster, more efficient, more reliable, and cheaper.

        For what it’s worth, keep in mind that Purolator Canada is owned by Canada Post.

    • Actually, government cheques are being mailed, and they are a target for thieves in public mailboxes.

  6. Canada Post is awful. It’s top people are grossly overpaid and the so-called “service” is extremely slow. For at least the past 10 years my cross-town mail has taken four or five business days to reach its destination (and I live in the relatively small town of Ottawa), and 10 days to get to Toronto. 10 days to travel 350 km?!?! Last year, I had to mail a letter to someone in Toronto but since I was travelling there myself I thought I’d reduce the delivery time by a week or more by taking it as far as Union Station myself. I popped it into a mail box right outside the station at midday on a Tuesday and it still took 10 days for Canada Post to fish it out of the post box and carry it 1.5 km. Canada Post deserves to be called Snail Mail. Its inefficiency has caused losses in revenue because it drove away its business customers to private courier services. A business would go bankrupt waiting for Canada Post to do its job.

    All this to say, don’t get rid of home mail delivery – just save tens of millions of dollars annually by shutting down Canada Post and privatizing Canada’s postal service. Japan Post is the fastest and most efficient in the world so perhaps a Japanese company would be a good choice.

    • I quite agree. Sometimes I think we’d get faster service using the pony express. :-)

  7. What’s with the exclamation point?

  8. To reduce the cost of delivery, try to use workers that are willing to work for less pay. Freeze all pay rises for management in Canada Post. They should do more with less like any other industries. If they had not done it in the past, it has to start.

  9. I have lived in Canada for 37 years and in all but tow years when I lived in Vancouver, I have never had delivery to my front door. Suck it up people.

    • Thanks…I’ll “suck it up” when I can’t get my mail because I have no car, and I walking is out of the question because of my age and mobility issues. Especially after buying my house in an area that DOES have mail delivery to the door, for those reasons. Perhaps you’d be kind enough to send me the funds for one of those scooter things, then maybe I can “suck it up”. (although I’m not sure how well they work in the snow or on ice)

      • If you are unable to leave your home due to age or disability, how do you eat? How do you get to Doctor’s appointments or run errands? You likely have assistance. The same assistance provided to individuals with mobility restrictions for other facets of life, whether it be through government assistance, family or friends, will extend to getting the mail as well. And given what comes in the mail these days (mostly junk), a trip to the mailbox is warranted maybe once a week, if that.

  10. I have not had mail delivery to my door for nearly 20 years. I don’t mind walking to a community superbox to get my mail. I get some fresh air, some exercise and I get to know my neighbours. Nothing wrong with that. I think the problem with Canada Post is the amount of pay per hour, the amount of vacation time allotted per worker, and all of the other costs of commuting the worker to his/her drop off area. I bet that many Canada Post workers talk much medical leave too as carrying large quanities of mail can cause shoulder problems not to mention leg problems from walking/hiking some of the routes.

    • And you haven’t even included management support issues yet., Full benefits, High salaries, Bonuses for showing up for work, Indexed pensions, Golden handshakes, Work induced stress leave for working in a poisonous atmosphere they helped create …
      Good thing it takes a manager to cream the labours of the workers drones.

    • “TALK much medical leave”? I think you mean “take,” but your slip of the fingers says it all: hatred of public workers is (mostly) based on unsubstantiated talk.

  11. I am one of those with mobility issues and no car. When we bought our house, home mail delivery was something we looked for. Some days, I get around quite well, others…not so much. Snow and ice make it very treacherous for me. Living in an area with many seniors, they have the same problem. What is Canada Post going to do about US?

    • Excellent point. My father-in-law slipped on black ice last year and broke his hip. There will be medical costs (financial and personal) associated with this cut, but we can be sure they will not have been factored into the calculations.

  12. One factor I have not yet seen mentioned in these comments: public mail boxes are crime magnets. Thieves break into them looking for cheques. Is this really the way we want our suburbs to go?

  13. Canada post should be privatized like Britain–The time has come.

  14. This issue has more to do with the standard of living for a rapidly declining middle class and poverty then delivering the mail in this country.

  15. Your poll question is worded in a way to elicit the response you were probably looking for. Perhaps worded something like “No – they could find efficiencies maybe by cutting back deliveries to a couple days a week, and continue this service for businesses and individuals, especially the elderly and disabled, who rely on it” would get a more balanced response.

  16. I am an eighty year old and have difficulty moving around and I am so thankful that I get my mail delvered to my door ,. If they have to , why do they not just reduce the service to say 3 days a week ,That would keep some of the delivery folk still working and Old guys like me who live alone more than satisfied.
    It would be nice if the postal service would copy some of the things that the U.S. postal service does ,like supplying boxes to send parcels at a reasonable price. Canada no longer has things like parcel express that the railway companies used to have and was so much more reasonable than the post office…heck even charge for the boxes, Maybe they could even pick up the mail that needs to be posted. on their daily walks.
    I have several parcels that I wished to post, and the Post office wanted to charge me almost 2 time the value of the contents….for a very small package. so I have given up on sending presents to my children and grand children and all my family who live in the U.S.A. because of the cost and the length of time it takes for mail from or to canada to reach it’s destination.
    I have a GREAT mail man who has delivered to my house for many years, and will occasionally knock on my door to make sure I am home and all right…I will truly miss him.. I pay a service company to make sure my walk is free of snow and Ice so that he will be able to safely walk the path up to my door and thus the mail box.

  17. The stats were fixed. By their own data 3/5′s of Canadians receive home delivery. Do some reporting instead of blindly accepting fake GOC/Canada Post stats.

    “as is the case for two-thirds of Canadian households!

  18. Typical conservative thinking. If I don’t have it, (want it, need it) no one should. Who cares about their needs or wants. It is a race to the bottom with that kind of thinking. Destroy anything good because someone else might get a bigger benefit than I.

    The vast majority of those currently being serviced by super mailboxes are those who insisted on moving to new housing developments without existing infrastructure, which they were happy to have added to the tax base for all citizens. New schools for new neighbourhoods while perfectly good ones, in established neighbourhoods were empty. Now they begrudge those who stayed in the smaller, older houses because they have door to door delivery. The small mindedness of some is truly mind boggling.

    What we need are real leaders who can figure out complex problems instead of a bunch of seals that parrot a twenty year old’s talking points and appoint corrupt and incapable cronies to key positions. This government is too simplistic and they’ve started to believe their stupid sound bites.

  19. The 2/3 stat on home non delivery is dead wrong. The ratio is about 50/50.

  20. I do hope that it stays – but with a few adjustments. Possibly 2 or three times a week? The Posties and the union only have themselves to blame. I have a few friends who are Delivery Persons and they get GREAT pay, incredible pensions, and my friends are almost always done their “days” work by noon or 1pm – after starting at 8am. I have always thought I would like to be a postman, for the ease of the expectations. But I have been aware that the line-up for this job is very long. Lots of people are aware of how slack it is. Unfortunately, these perks have created a financial problem for the POST office.
    I do hope it stays around as I prefer Canada Post to UPS, Purolater, Fed Ex etc. Super boxes are a good second choice – but the Postal Union needs to realize they have done this damage.

  21. Let’s Keep Canada Post, get rid of overpaid management technocrats and let’s stop supporting the antisocial courtiers of the Conservative party or whatever party that practises accumulation of profits by dispossession of workers and the less fortunate. Obviously, in this twisted world, there are always those who are ready to get rid of other peoples jobs as long as it is not theirs.

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