DECEMBER 11, 2013

Some hearts bleeding for the man formerly known as Postman Pat
Like many Canadians I get more junk mail than actual stuff addressed to me. Fortunately I’m not on any crazy mailing lists so I am not getting pre-approved credit card applications or endless solicitations.

But over the past few months I have noticed an increase in unaddressed advertising pieces – glossy flyers I guess you can call them. I always figured it was the flyer delivery person who crams them in the box on a weekly basis. Little did I know it was good ol’ crumbling Canada Post that is trying to maintain its relevance in the delivery business.

Recently I had to send a few things in the mail. I felt really out of touch because I had no idea how much a stamp was and almost forgot if my address goes in the top left corner or if that’s the one in the centre of the envelope. Nevertheless, I got some help from the drug store employee who was too young to understand my joke about “neither snow, nor rain, nor heat…”

When I was told that it would take a minimum of four days to send a piece of mail to Vancouver, it had me wonder if Canada Post is necessary to have. If the service is that slow, is CP really helpful to me? If anything, it is a last resort.

Though I don’t see the need to use a FedEx account to send something so small across the country which is the predicament many Canadians will face.

I wasn’t surprised with the news of Canada Post’s planned cuts in 2014. It has been a debate for a long time. Do we need mail delivery five days per week when all we’re getting is junk mail? Granted, the paid direct advertising industry might be more lucrative than delivering my less-than-a-dollar-to-send birthday card to grandma.

Like it or not, I think many people will always have to rely on Canada Post. The older folks who don’t do email or online shopping and still need to send a – dare I use the word – “parcel” to someone across town or overseas, the national postal service will generally be the default choice because the big courier companies are still seen as business shippers.

As it is I don’t check my mailbox every day because I think, “ah, it’s going to be five flyers and one bill – no hurry.”

Whether they cut the to-the-door delivery or scale it back so junk mail is only delivered once or twice per week, in the end if it is about cost savings then why not since it is a Crown corporation? Many other industries have had to adapt to the changing times. What makes mail anything different?
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