Carleton Place town council heard a plea from Canadian Union of Postal Workers representative Don Chartrand on Nov. 28 to pressure the federal Liberals to live up to their 2015 election promise to stop further cuts to postal services and to restore home delivery to those communities who lost it under the previous Conservative government.
Chartrand noted the devastating impact of removing rural postal services, and said over 600 municipalities passed resolutions condemning the original round of cuts. Following the election, he said that Ottawa placed a moratorium on the conversion to community mailboxes pending a review of Canada Post by the standing committee on government operations.
Following meetings in almost two dozen communities, during which they heard from municipal governments, businesses, community groups, and individuals, Chartrand said the committee produced a 185-page report with some 45 recommendations for improvement.
Among those recommendations was development of a plan to reinstate door-to-door delivery to communities that were converted to community boxes after Aug. 3, 2015, a review of the impact on efficiency of delivery before implementing any new strategies, usage of Canada Post’s existing retail network to provide more services (by, for example, acting as community hubs that could offer things like postal banking), and a moratorium on rural post office closures.
Quoting Canada Post’s senior vice-president John West, who recently said that the organization’s legal team “needs to step away from the notion of being a cost centre and instill the notion that we are a value-added service,” Chartrand expressed his wish that all the executives at his employer would think along similar lines.
Members of council were in agreement on the importance of door-to-door delivery, and voted to consider sending a letter to the federal government reiterating their support.