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Canadian Publications Agreement No. 40727545

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CUPE requests support from Selwyn Council

 

October 27, 2017

 

BY TERRY GILLIS

 

On Tuesday night, delegate Rob Cowell, President of the Peterborough Canadian Union of Postal Workers provided a presentation to Selwyn Council briefly outlining the forty-five recommendations made in the 185 page ‘The Way Forward for Canada Post’ report tabled by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.

The Government of Canada conducted an independent review of Canada Post (CP) to ensure Canadians receive quality postal services at a reasonable price.

The goal of the review according to the federal government is to help put Canada Post on a self-sustaining footing, while providing valuable services for Canadians well into the future. Views of Canadians in this matter are being taken into consideration throughout the Review.

The independent review of Canada Post was carried out in two phases.

Phase 1 - An independent four-member task force undertook an analysis of Canada Post’s services and current financial situation, conducted public opinion research, met with key stakeholders, and examined international best practices for postal delivery. On September 12, 2016, the task force released a discussion paper, entitled Canada Post in the Digital Age.

Phase 2 - The House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.

On December 13, 2016, the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates’ released their report: The Way Forward for Canada Post. The Committee’s report includes recommendations to the Government on the future of Canada Post.

The Government tabled its response to the Standing Committee’s report on April 12, 2017. It is currently considering the Committee’s recommendations as well as all of the evidence gathered throughout the review process and stated the future direction of Canada Post will be announced in 2017.

During his discussion, Cowell emphasized the loss of door-to-door delivery and focussed on a few main recommendations.

As part of his closing remarks, Cowell said, “we ask that Selwyn Township Council help create the future and send a letter to The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau supporting the recommendations of the Standing Committee to retain, enhance and expand these important postal services.”

Councillor Herron requested clarification from Cowell regarding a comment he made stating that “Canada Post is a self-sustaining corporation.”

Gerry said that he was under the impression that Canada Post lost millions of dollars last year.

Cowell replied, “absolutely not. Canada Post is self-sustaining.” He also said that the only year the postal service “claims” they lost money in the past eighteen years was in 2011.

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Deputy Mayor Senis asked about the Standing Committee suggestion that Canada Post provide internet and cellular service. She asked if CP would be the provider or the middleman.

Cowell responded that Canada Post would be the provider and “in setting up hubs.” He continued to explain that it is just a Standing Committee suggestion and it would be up to CP to figure out the details.

Deputy Mayor Senis was concerned about the list of things outlined in the form letter provided by Cowell for council’s endorsement that she wasn’t clear on. Many of the Standing Committee recommendations were vague.

Councillor Ballantyne was in agreement with Deputy Mayor in regards to some of the items on the letter provided. “I’m not so sure some of these I would want to endorse because I don’t understand the repercussions.” said Ballantyne.

Council did not chose to endorse the form letter provided by CUPE 507 but did decide to endorse a more general message relating to postal services relating to rural communities.

Council resolved to support sending a letter to The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau endorsing the continuation of the door-to-door service and the continuation of a  moratorium on post office closures.