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An Open Letter regarding Canada Post

The recent survey sent out by Canada Post to people in my neighbourhood (and to people in many other Canadian neighbourhoods) is an exercise in futility. Canada Post is pretending to consult Canadian citizens but is not really listening. Canada Post is asking us what kind of Community Mail Boxes we want, but the reality is most Canadians don’t want Community Mail Boxes of any kind.

Like any postal service, Canada Post has a single responsibility: to deliver mail safely and securely to the intended recipient. It is a solemn responsibility and trust. That obligation is not fulfilled when the mail is left unattended in a public location in the hope that the intended recipient will get to it first. If the mail service is not secure, people will simply cease to use it, for anything important at least.

Putting the mail intended for many recipients together in a highly visible location simply sets up a readily accessible target for thieves. Canada Post argues that home delivery is too expensive. However, if Canada Post would accept the responsibility it rightfully owns when it negligently and carelessly leaves mail unguarded, it would discover that Community Mail Boxes are not less expensive. If a vehicle is damaged or stolen while in the possession of a tow truck company, the towing company is liable for the loss or damage; that is why towing companies have fenced yards with guard dogs and security cameras. If money is stolen while in the possession of a bank, the bank must replace it. If luggage is lost or damaged while in the possession of an airline, the airline must compensate the owner of the luggage. However, if valuables are stolen or someone’s personal information is stolen, leading to identity theft, while in the possession of Canada Post, Canada Post says it is not responsible. Canada Post might claim that it is free of blame if it was doing all it could to protect the mail. However, putting mail in Community Mail Boxes, which have already been proven to be vulnerable to theft, is negligence. Community Mail Boxes are more expensive when the cost of thefts are included, but Canada Post does not care since it is ordinary citizens rather than Canada Post who will pay for any losses.

Canada Post says that it has been using Community Mail Boxes for years. However, the first Community Mail Boxes were in the locked lobbies of apartment and condo buildings. There have also been mail boxes in small town post offices and rural general stores that served as post offices, but those locations were indoors and under observation by staff. Those options are far more secure than unattended Community Mail Boxes on street corners.

Furthermore, Canada Post seems to prefer to place its Community Mail Boxes at the entrance to neighbourhoods. These locations are easily accessible to all residents, but they are also easily accessible to thieves, who will have multiple avenues of access and escape. Canada Post does not place Community Mail Boxes at the end of cul-de-sacs where they are overlooked by several houses. Canada Post sacrifices security in the interest of saving the cost of transporting the mail a few extra blocks.

Community Mail Boxes are not the only possible solution to Canada Post’s need to cut costs. Canada Post could also have saved money by only delivering the mail every two or three days instead of every day. Since many pieces of mail take days or even weeks to deliver, an extra day or two won’t make that much difference. But Canada Post is not interested in this because it makes more money delivering daily advertising flyers than delivering mail that people actually want to receive.

Canada Post also argues that personal mail is declining, while delivering packages (especially due to online shopping) is increasing. I don’t understand why Canada Post thinks it is too inefficient and too expensive to have one mailman walk to every house in a neighbourhood, but that it is economical to drive a truck across town to deliver a single package.

A post office is a public service. But Canada Post has decided that there is more money to be made in serving corporate advertisers and online retailers. It has sacrificed serving the public to pursuing its own corporate profits. Community Mail Boxes have little to do with community. Canada Post is not being a good neighbour to most Canadians.

A post office is a public service. But Canada Post has decided that there is more money to be made in serving corporate advertisers and online retailers. It has sacrificed serving the public to pursuing its own corporate profits. Community Mail Boxes have little to do with community. Canada Post is not being a good neighbour to most Canadians.

One comment on “An Open Letter regarding Canada Post

  1. This page truly has all of the information I
    wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

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