Canada Post to cut door-to-door delivery in cities

Jessica Murphy, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:53 PM ET

OTTAWA — Anna Tartaglia admits she's in the minority when it comes to paying bills.

The Niagara Falls, Ont., business owner does it the old-fashioned way.

"I know I can do it by e-mail, but I find I don't have the control. That's why I do everything by hand. I mean I just sent off a bunch of cheques in the mail," she said.

She one of many across Canada now looking for alternatives after Canada Post announced major cuts to services Wednesday.

The Crown corporation will phase out door-to-door delivery in favour of community mailboxes as part of a new business model to try to stop bleeding money.

The volume of letter mail has been in free fall and Canada Post expects the trend to continue.

"The new system will allow Canada Post to compete in the fast-paced and technology-driven global parcel market," the new business plan states.

Canada Post spokeswoman Anick Losier said it's about meeting consumer demand while strengthening the bottom line.

"We spoke with thousands of Canadians over the last six months or so and they told us two things that are really important — they're using us differently regardless of what we do, and they don't want us to become a burden on their taxes," she said.

Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt says the government backs the plan.

"I look forward to seeing progress as Canada Post rolls out its plan for an efficient, modern postal service that protects taxpayers and is equipped to meet Canadians' needs now and in the future," she said in a statement.

The shift to community mailboxes will affect roughly five million Canadians in mostly urban areas who still get door-to-door delivery. The changes will be phased in over five years, beginning in late 2014.

The cost of stamps will go up as of March 31, with individual stamps costing $1 and a roll of stamps costing $0.85 per stamp.

Canada Post also plans to cut between 6,000 and 8,000 jobs over the next 10 years through attrition.

Opposition parties had serious concerns about the changes, especially the impact on seniors.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers president called the move "rash and short-sighted."

"If this happens, it would be the end of an era for Canada Post," said Denis Lemelin.

Others, however, shrugged it off.

"Canada Post still exists?" Paul Coyne of Ottawa quipped. "Can't tell you the last time I mailed anything."

Canada Post lost $109 million in its last quarter and expects significant losses this year.

It hopes to return to financial sustainability by 2019.

- with files from Matt Day and Chris Hofley

 

 

 


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