Canada Post CEO defends cuts to service, higher rates -

Canada Post CEO defends cuts to service, higher rates


OTTAWA – The head of Canada Post says the corporation needs to make major changes to stay alive in the digital age.

Deepak Chopra appeared before a Commons committee today, where he defended the Crown agency’s proposals to cut service and raise rates.

The Canada Post CEO told the transport committee that the postal service must evolve to survive.

And that, he said, means concentrating more on delivering packages and less on putting paper letters in mail boxes.

Chopra told the committee that, in 2007, Canada Post profits began to decline as people and businesses turned to digital communication.

The change picked up speed in 2010, he said, with the introduction of computer tablets.

And he said there are predictions that, without significant changes, Canada Post could soon be losing $1 billion a year.

Canada Post announced last week that it plans to phase out door-to-door mail delivery in urban centres over a five-year period.

Instead, mail would be delivered to communal neighbourhood “superboxes.”

As well, it plans to increase the cost of stamps by more than 50 per cent.

NDP committee member Hoang Mai questioned whether the postal service consulted widely enough before coming up with its restructuring plan.

Liberal MP David McGuinty said elderly and disabled Canadians will face difficulties retrieving mail once door-to-door delivery ends.

Chopra said the agency has been mindful of seniors’ concerns in putting together its reform proposals.