OTTAWA – The federal government’s long-awaited announcement of a review of Canada Post is welcome news for Canada’s postal workers, who are looking forward to the public having a say in what tomorrow’s post office can do for the country.
“This government has a historic opportunity to reinvent Canada Post. We’re glad privatization isn’t on the table. We need to get out of the rut of endless cuts, and start getting excited about the possibilities,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
“We’ve got more outlets than Tim Hortons, we’ve got the biggest retail network in Canada, and we deliver everywhere in this country. Imagine what we could do with these assets,” added Palecek.
The union has been vigorously campaigning for the restoration of home delivery, for fuller services and for postal banking, which is widespread in other parts of the world. It is pleased the Task Force will be examining international models.
Advocates say postal banking will improve financial services for rural, remote and low-income residents as well as loosening the grip of payday lenders like Money Mart. Today’s announcement coincides with rallies for postal banking across the country.
Among other options suggested by postal workers are expanded services for seniors, such as a Letter Carrier Alert program, which monitors elderly and disabled people, as well as the restoration and expansion of Food Mail for Northern communities.
Postal workers are also urging the public to consider green innovations such as installing electric charging stations at post offices and gradually replacing postal vans with electric fleets, as recently happened in Norway.
The union is hoping that the promise to look at “all the research” will bring a heavily censored study on postal banking to light.
“It’s now up to the government and the true owners of Canada Post – the Canadian people – to make some good decisions for our future,” said Palecek.