Little downside for Tories in Canada Post cuts: poll

Those affected don’t vote Conservative, says Angus Reid survey

by Charlie Gillis

Nathan Denette/CP

How do Canadians feel about service cuts at Canada Post? Depends on how they receive their mail now—and evidently, how they vote.

An Angus Reid Global poll released today found that 58 per cent of respondents disapprove of changes that, among other things, would see door-to-door service eliminated for the one-third of customers lucky enough to still get it (full results and methodology can be found here). Overall, we appear rueful about these reforms to a national institution. Drill down, though, and you get some telling results:

• More than half of Conservative voters, 53 per cent, support the end of door-to-door in urban areas, while less than a third of Liberal and NDP supporters do.

• Fully 59 per cent of respondents who already pick up their mail at community mailboxes support the changes. I’ll be the cynic and suggest that these two findings are not unrelated: the Tories are strongest in suburban and rural ridings. Suburban and rural residents aren’t losing much from the end of door-to-door. You don’t suppose the government-appointed bosses at Canada Post took that into account when they hatched this plan, do you?

• Only 48 per cent of those polled consider Canada Post to be an “essential service” and even these believers aren’t using it much; 72 per cent said they send mail less often than four times a month. Two in five do so less than once a month.

• Men seem a lot less worried about mail service than women. Of the 17 per cent of respondents who said they were unaffected and unconcerned by the changes, fully 73 per cent were men. Nearly six in 10 who consider Canada Post an essential service are women. These findings should not surprise guys like me, who haven’t sent a birthday card since the Chrétien years.

• Some 38 per cent of respondents said Canada Post should be privatized, which strikes me as a lot.

In short, even a lot of those angry about the reforms aren’t using the mail enough to make this a ballot-box question in the next federal election. Those affected probably aren’t living in Tory-held ridings, meaning the moves are unlikely to cost the Harper government seats. As Shachi Kurl, vice-president of Angus Reid Global, put it: “These changes appear to give Prime Minister Stephen Harper less trouble with his base.”

All very revealing—though you have to think the political implications were well understood before the first letter of the plan was written.




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Little downside for Tories in Canada Post cuts: poll

  1. Their still may be a downside to all this. We as Canadian taxpayers will end up paying more for those 10%ers that the parties like to have slipped, in our mailboxes when ever they(parties)want to raise funds on the taxpayers dime, I mean a buck(postage).

    • It’s the government paying a government agency for a service. The government could charge $1000 per flyer, to the government, and it wouldn’t have any net effect on the government’s balance sheet.

  2. I’m sure the Conservatives can run on their mishandling of Canada Post. Their slogan can be: “pay a lot more and get a lot less.”

    (This comment was brought to you by Canada’s Economic Action Plan: freeloading partisan advertising since 2009…)

    • its an arms length crown corp. they have very little to do with ‘running it’

      • Harper is the king of patronage. He just doesn’t dole out cushy jobs to friends, he controls what they do when they’re on the inside.

        “All very revealing—though you have to think the political implications were well understood before the first letter of the plan was written.”

  3. Yes because the elderly and disabled never voted Conservative anyway did they Charlie?

    • No. Everybody knows that all Conservative voters are white, male, militant religious zealots, gun loving, abortion hating, country bumpkin, redneck idiots.

  4. Community mailboxes have been the norm for a generation out in the rural
    and suburban Tory ridings. The Tories will lose elderly voters in the
    affected urban ridings, but the Tories don’t stand a realistic chance of
    winning these opposition strongholds anyway.

  5. Suck it up, urban cupcakes! I no longer have to subsidize your lazy a$$es!

    • You know, you could sound even dumber, but you’d have to try really hard. I agree the service was going to be phased out sooner or later, but rubbing peoples’ noses in it is hardly an intelligent response.

    • Amazing how many Canadians have become ‘cupcakes’ and ‘lazy a$$es’ since Harper got in.

      Lemme see….feminists of course….seniors….baby boomers…children on welfare….and now anyone who gets mail at the door…

      In fact, the only ones who are solid upright ‘citizens’ apparently……. are young male Libertarian/ Con moochers.

      And they don’t even pretend to be christian.

  6. In the town where I lived in the early 1970s, there was both excitement and trepidation when door-to-door delivery began (the population had risen above the threshold).

    The trepidation quickly won out. With door-to-door delivery you got mail only once a day. When you went to your box at the post office you could get mail each time — sorting was ongoing. And when you went to the post office you met your neighbours; the community fabric was stronger.

    Children longed for the day when they’d be entrusted with the key to go “check for mail”. Yes, kids actually wanted chores back then…

    And I bet if you went to a small town or village today you’d find the same community-binding perspective.

    Condo/apartment owners don’t get mail delivered to their doors.

    Want door-to-door delivery? Hire a local kid to go pick up your mail each day. He or she could also get you the milk, eggs and bread, each of which was hand-delivered when I was growing up.

    • Local kid is named Timmy, right….and he has a collie that goes for help?

      • Only in Hollywood… ; )

        But we also mowed lawns and shovelled walkways and driveways for up to 25 cents back in the day…

        • LOL ‘back in the day’ 25 cents meant 2 comic books and a silver bag of Hostess potato chips.

          • That is correct! You could get a small paper cone of french fries for a nickel, too. Or splurge the whole 25 cents on a deluxe hamburger… Pin boy jobs at the local bowlarama paid a whole 50 cents an hour…

          • LOL Paper cones of french fries….NOW yer talkin’……..!

            I’d be willing to go to Mars now….I read the other day that they’ve learned to make french fries in space!

    • Why, I do believe I’ve seen a painting of your little hometown post office. I think it was done by a feller called Norman Rockwell. All those nice oldtimers sittin’ on a bench outside the post office there, chewin’ the fat, sayin’ hi to you and your neighbours whenever you went down there to pick up your mail. Those old fellers really knew where all the good fishin’ holes were, didn’t they? And they’d even tell you, if you asked nice-like.

      You lived in Springfield, right?

  7. If the Liberals were in power the same poll would show that 58% support the cuts. If Harper solved world hunger 58% of Canadians would oppose it simply because they hate Harper.

    • Which tells you what about voters?

    • Actually, Paul Martin brought in spending cuts Mulroney could only dream of. But fanatical cons still wanted to destroy the Liberal party. I think moderates find Harper appalling because his agenda is appalling. They might find Harper disgusting, but they don’t take politics seriously enough to hate any political leader. It’s the fanatics who have a visceral hatred of their political opponents.

  8. For people like myself who deal primarily with packages and have far more outgoing mail than incoming this is a non-issue. However, the fact that Canada Post mercilessly keeps increasing parcel rates is a really big deal. I would like to think that ending door to door delivery might allow them to ease parcel rates somewhat but that isn’t going to happen just like when they gave our mail carriers trucks instead of wheelie carts so they could deliver packages. The people whos only job was to deliver packages previously should have then been out of work saving Canada Post millions after the initial cost of the vehicles was written off, but no they now shine a chair with their a$$e$ making the same big dollars to do absolutely nothing. In the spring of this year Canada Post raised parcel rates as much as 50% in some cases. What other business can do that and still have customers? Well only these government sponsored monopolies that have the taxpayers by the throat. Canada Post even deviously created new services so that they could obfuscate the increases and the real reasons behind the increases. That’s disgusting no matter how you look at it.The real answer to this mess is that Canada Post needs to be completely destroyed starting with the union and then rebuilt, union free, into an efficient, performance oriented entity that offers top grade services at reasonable rates.

    • They have no monopoly on parcel delivery. So they raise rates at their own risk. UPS, FedEx, CanPar and even their own Purolator are competitors, along with lots of city-based and regional couriers. I would hope getting rid of the high personnel and capital costs involved in door-to-door delivery will allow them to freeze parcel rates.

      The biggest task, it seems to me, will be the siting of new community boxes. Will some go in stores? Will urban settings mean different designs? It should be interesting. I pick up my mail off my building’s lobby. I’ll be happy to not subsidize a service less than a third of Canadians receive and which is no longer the essential service it once was when mail trains were workhorses and a lot of sorting was done while the trains bounced along… in other words forever ago for most people.

      • Canada Post still have a fair way to go before their parcel rates match the private sector. even after paying a huge amount for delivery the private sector still hasn’t worked that delivering to private residences during working hours is stupid as the residents will probably be working too. For the prices they charge they should be delivering when people are likely to be at home and not leaving snotty notes saying you have a few days to pick up the parcel you paid a fortune to have delivered before it is sent back.

        The private sector wants Canada Post gone so they can continue to charge exorbitant rates for vastly inferior service with no competition.

        • Totally agree on the delivery times part of your rant. I have every order I make online delivered to my work, because there is almost zero chance I’ll be at home when they deliver. It really is bat-shit crazy.

  9. Downsize it, slash staffing levels, drop “unprofitable” components, all with a view to making it more attractive to private sector buyers. And if the plan works, do it again with the CBC.

    Gotta’ fake a balanced budget in time to offer tax cuts for the 2015 election.

    • I doubt Canada Post will be privatizable, so the best strategy will be to lower the mail delivery costs enough that the parcel delivery profits cover the shortfall. Other counties that have privatized don’t have the vast North that we have.

      The CBC should be sold now. Its buildings alone will bring $billions back to the Treasury. The radio network was once important but no longer. And Hockey Night in Canada will now live on in private hands. I would urge the Conservatives to put its liquidation in the 2015 platform. The targeted tax cuts which will kick in when the budget is balanced are about allowing families to keep more resources that they have earned.

      All governments work on a cycle. The difference is that this government has done what it said it would do. Trudeau won an election on a vow of no wage and price controls and then immediately brought them in (triggering John Turner to resign as an MP). Chretien won on a vow to get rid of the GST, then didn’t (triggering Sheila Copps to resign and run again). This government treats the 2011 platform as a blueprint. Refreshing.

      • Any fool can cut back spending…but that’s not how you build a country.

        • Well said.

        • You don’t build a country by bankrupting it on silly things like delivering letters directly to people’s homes either.

          • a] Hon, you can’t bankrupt Canada

            b] We’ve had home delivery since Confederation.

            c] ‘silly things’ is a matter of opinion.

          • If you can’t bankrupt Canada, why did Jean Chretien and the Liberals offload the nation’s deficit spending onto the provinces? Why bother balancing a budget at all? What makes Canada different than any other nation or company or person?

          • a] They didn’t…and in any case that wouldn’t change the dollar amounts…there is still just one taxpayer

            b] Rightwingers like ‘cutbacks’…politics

            c] Canada….Somalia….you don’t see a difference?

            d] Why do rightwingers always see outgo, but never see income?

          • You don’t think the Liberals balanced the budget by offloading expenses onto provinces? Then what were the massive cutbacks in transfer payments?

            Canada and Somalia, yea, I see a difference. One is an economic basket case that is bankrupt, the other is not. Where would you rather live?

            Proper economic/fiscal policy requires looking at outgo and income. It’s not an either/or situation.

          • The Libs did numerous things to cut the deficit….voters wanted it cut….but shuffling debt doesn’t pay it off, it just…shuffles it.

            Somalia has nothing in the way of GDP….neither do any of the poorest countries. Haiti is free market and still dirt poor.

            Canada has natural resources, a diverse economy, infrastructure, an educated population, social programs…. it’s not about to go bankrupt. The economic system is entirely artificial you know…made up. A paper system to keep score.

            However, the natural resources, diversity,education etc are not.

            No, it’s not an either/or situation…..that’s what I just said!

            Wingers only look at outgo…not income. Which is why they fuss about costs…like pensions…. years down the road.

          • You don’t build a country by dividing it and playing one part off against another either, but that is what the right are doing. East v West, old v young, well educated v not so well educated etc.
            Ever since Thatcher the right hate any idea of community or society because a people who are together and look after each other is a threat to the greed and terror that the right thrive on.

          • Can you explain how offering all Canadians the same postal service is “playing one part off against another”?

            Can you explain how having a mail man deliver the mail directly to your door somehow enhances community or society?

          • I did you chose not to read.
            You said suburban householders already have central boxes and urban householders don’t. If it’s good enough for one why not the other. See paying one against the other.

            Having doorstep delivery means people can live for longer in their own homes. The frail elderly wouldn’t have to walk to the boxes on an icy path in -20 to -35 in snow.

  10. While most seniors who live in cities and who are affected by these changes may not vote Conservative, many of their kids who live in suburban ridings, and are relatively affluent do often vote Conservative. When they see how the end of door-to-door delivery affects their aging parents, they may have a change of heart.
    There’s no question that Canada Post needs changes to its horribly outdated business model, but lowering services while charging more for postage (from $0.63 to $1.00: that’s a 59% increase!) is the exact opposite of what any private company would do. Privatizing may be a better option, as has occurred in some other countries. Or eliminating the monopoly that Canada Post enjoys. Or maybe some other options.

  11. hmmm implementing policies that target those who don’t vote for you is not a good way to decide policy. Eventually you get punted because you piss off enough people to vote for someone else, then guess what? It’s your turn to be targeted now.
    Karma is then the proverbial female dog.

    • It’s a financial decision. Canada Post is losing millions of dollars, something needed to change.

      One could easily make the same ignorant claim that the Liberals targeted Conservative communities when Canada Post started setting up all suburban areas with Super Boxes. Where was the outrage from you left wingers then?

      • It’s not a financial decision at all. It’s a political decision aimed at getting rid of some competition for the private sector and disenfranchising a large swathe of the Canada. Canada Post has been remarkably efficient. Point to any other essential government service and tell me which of them can match their record. First time in the Red in 16 years. Unions and management are working together to ensure the business is successful – last years profits. There are corporations out there that wish they had CP’s record.

        As to your last point, if you feel that way, why didn’t you do something about it? But seriously, there is a difference in who is affected by this. Suburban communities are typically not top heavy with the elderly and infirm or those with special needs. I realise equality to the right is that the able-bodied should have access to the same service that the non-able have, millionaires should have access to welfare just like the homeless etc. But rational folk can see the difference in circumstances and appreciate them for what they are.

        • If it were a political decision it would have been trumpeted by a government minister. It wasn’t. It was announced by Canada Post, not the government.

          Canada Post has been efficient. It’s mandated by law to fund itself. It has a monopoly. It will continue to be efficient and self-funded because of the changes they’re making to their services.

          I’d point to Employment Insurance as an essential service that works more profitably than Canada Post. Employment Insurance is such a great racket for the government that the Liberals were able to raid it to spend other “essential” services. Basic infrastructure also pays for itself. Never heard of a single person complain about infrastructure funding.

          Perhaps you’d care to point out a business that has a legal monopoly that manages to lose money?

          As to my last point, I don’t feel that way. I was merely making a point to draw attention to your hypocrisy.

          And no, there is no difference between urban communities and the rest of Canada in the eyes of the government. The government shouldn’t favour certain communities over others, ever.

          Suggesting that “the elderly and infirm or those with special needs” are going to be somehow negatively affected by this change is absolutely absurd. First of all, they also live in suburban and rural communities. They have forever. Secondly, I beg you to find me a single instance of a person who moved to an address that would have mail delivered to their home, just for that purpose? Thirdly, if someone is such poor shape that they can’t get to their mail, how are they feeding themselves? Do you think the elderly live on pizza delivery?

          It’s really hilarious that you try to employ “equality” in an effort to defend a blatantly in-equal service delivery to taxpayers. You’re arguing that certain postal codes should receive more from taxpayers than others. Simply, because.

          And yes, I do believe that the government should provide the same services to the able-bodied and the “non-able” (by the way, don’t you think “non-able” is a pretty derogatory way to describe people with physical or mental differences?). Yes, millionaires should receive the same access to welfare, if they need, as the homeless. They’re paying for the damn program after all. If they can’t access it when they need it, it would be a pretty good reason to scrap the whole thing.

          Rational folk can see that what you’re arguing for is an unsustainable system just waiting for it’s imminent collapse.

          • Oh Rick really
            This government has a history of getting others to announce unpopular decisions for them or doing it a times that they know will miss the media deadlines (Senate hoo-ha) or even from places far away from Canada (OAS). This government is populated by spineless cowards who want to say they made tough decisions but really don’t have the guts to announce these decisions in an open and honest manner.
            CP does not have a monopoly, you are free to send a letter to anywhere in Canada using any of the private carriers that you care to use.
            You don’t know how I felt about that, so how do you know I was being hypocritical? As I arrived in Canada after the millenium I think it’s harsh that you blame me for stuff that happened prior to that; but your silence on the matter is interesting.
            I love the concern trolling over the “able” topic. I’d never have thought you’d give a crap.
            You don’t see the redundancy of your concern for millionaires in need and the necessity of a safety net for those in need who don’t need it?
            You’re the only one arguing against this and Rick with all due respect you have not shown yourself to be reasonable in a lot of your on-line interactions.

          • 1) Canada Post has a monopoly. It’s a law. The law mandates that any other company that delivers a letter must charge 300% the rate that Canada Post charges. How is it not a monopoly when the law dictates that a business can’t price-compete with a government agency?

            2) OK, so you think that not providing door-to-door mail service to suburban and rural communities was wrong also. How do you propose Canada Post remain financially viable while expenses grow faster than income? Or are you suggesting that Canadian taxpayers continue to pay more and more for a service that we use less and less each day? Would you want Canada to have a $2B postal system that nobody uses in 20 years? Just pay a bunch of guys to walk around wearing the uniform delivering nothing?

            3) I don’t blame you for anything, you’re inconsequential as far as I’m concerned. And what exactly am I being silent on?

            4) Where did I argue for the dismantling any safety nets? Is the postal system a safety net? It is a work-fare program to keep the otherwise unemployable in a safe government job?

            5) What would make you believe I don’t care about the disabled? I have friends and family that are disabled. I care deeply about the disabled. That doesn’t mean advocating for money to be spent poorly. There are only so many resources to go around and I think they should be put use as efficiently as possible.

            6) No, I’m not the only one arguing against this. Canada Post, evidently, agrees with me. And I’m guessing the 2/3 of Canadians who don’t receive home delivery will also agree with me.

            7) No, I’m not always reasonable. I tend to respond in kind. However in this case, I’m not the being unreasonable.

          • 1: a monopoly is where a service is provided by one service provider. You admit that isn’t the case. It may cost more but it isn’t a monopoly.

            2: Users pay for the service they get. It’s only the right who preach this and then expect a handout.

            3: You did call me a hypocrite.

            4: Without deliveries to the door, the frail elderly will not be able to remain in their homes as long as they do now. I look along my street and see three neighbours who can’t physically handle a single slip on ice or in the snow. They will rely more on the family and others and that is something they don’t do right now.

            5: It’s not nice when people make assumptions is it?

            6: Management of CP are the usefool fools of the most anti-social government Canada has ever seen. And guesses don’t count. (Divide and conquer approach – I don’t use elementary and secondary schools can I opt out too?)

            7: indeed and are you sure?

  12. It matters if it makes the people who don’t vote Conservative more likely to vote.

    • Good point.

      The 47% of Conservative voters who do not support the change might matter too.

  13. Instead I’d prefer to see a reduced mail delivery schedule to, say, 3 days/week.

  14. Alternatively, almost 50% of Conservative voters ( 47% apparently ) do not support the end of door-to-door in urban areas. Let’s hope they write letters to the editor.

  15. Not true. Suburbs with a conservative mp will lose their mail delivery service.

    • Yes, the idea that the Conservative’s are doing this for some type of political gain is absurd. People in Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg who currently receive home mail delivery and also typically vote Conservative will be affected by this also.

  16. I am in North Vancouver with a Conservative MP. My wife and I and four adult children do not support the elimination of home mail delivery. The MP has been so informed but alas, he takes his orders from the inner sanctum in Ottawa – at his peril mind you.

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