I was surprised to receive an envelope in the mail from Canada Post informing me that our neighborhood would be converting to so-called community mailboxes next year. Having read the odd news item about their latest plan, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised but maybe I was simply in denial.
Maybe I couldn't believe that Canada Post would do something this outrageous and arbitrary. Or maybe I just figured it was going to take years and years and that, at some point, the Conservatives would be turfed from power and this whole crazy scheme would be shelved. In any event, I must have rationalized that somehow it wouldn't affect me.
Well, needless to say, I was wrong. Canada Post is apparently hell-bent on eliminating home delivery for almost everyone in Canada. Call me naïve but I fail to see why such a move is necessary.
It's my understanding that Canada Post operated at a profit last year, most of that profit coming from its letter-mail service. Silly me but I thought that they might use that profit to provide home mail delivery to those currently suffering under the community mailbox regime rather than to subject more of us to it.
I also understand that Canada is the only G7 country to eliminate home mail delivery. The United States postal service still provides daily home delivery even on Saturday (as do most of the other G7 nations.
If Canada Post truly thinks that it must cut back service to make an even bigger profit, why did they not propose cutting home delivery to three or four days a week? Their letter states that they want to consult with me about the implementation of community mailboxes in my neighborhood. Why didn't they ask to consult with me at the beginning of this process in order to come up with workable alternatives that could have saved home delivery?
From what I can see, the only communal thing about community mailboxes is that neighbors can meet at them to complain about the poor service, vandalism and littering. I've yet to meet anyone who raves about their fabulous community mailbox. Rather it looks to me as if most folks have reluctantly succumbed to the whims of Canada Post and accepted third rate service as inevitable.
Although Canada Post is a Crown corporation, I have to believe that the current government is fully in support of this shortsighted move as part of their right wing, anti-government agenda. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if it turns out that this is just another step in a secret plan to privatize our national postal service.
Sadly, as with other issues, the Conservatives are playing one group off against another to gain support for this measure. The millions of Canadians already stuck with community mailboxes don't see why the rest of us should still have home delivery. Sadly this results in nothing more than a race to the bottom where everyone loses when instead we should all be fighting to restore home delivery to everyone.
A national postal service is a hallmark of a civilized country. Let's remember that and put an end to the Conservatives' anti-government agenda this fall and start restoring the basic services they have been undermining for years.
The U.S. Postal Service takes pride in its motto: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." If we don't take action soon, we may have to adopt a new credo for our national postal service: "We took the post out of Canada Post."
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