Canada Post can’t survive as is

Canada Post’s policy framework and action “no longer reflect the changing postal environment” according to the Task Force charged with reviewing Canada Post business model in the digital age.

The Task Force published a discussion paper whose Executive Summary is published this week. It states that Canada Post must change its business model particularly with reference to its mail delivery commitments.

“Canada Post is at a crossroads,” said the Task Force. “Canada Post’s costs are growing faster than its revenues. Digitization is moving its business from letters to parcels. The Canadian Postal Service Charter obligates “last mile” delivery five days a week and the maintenance of the Rural Moratorium. Under the status quo, Canada Post will not be financially self-sustainable going forward.

“The Corporation’s business model, which reflects the 20th century, needs to be realigned with the rapidly changing technological realities and the changing postal usage of Canadians. The Five-point Action Plan was a reaction to these changes, but was developed within the existing postal policy framework. As a result, both the policy framework and the Five-point Action Plan, no longer reflect the changing postal environment.”

The Task Force stressed that “change is necessary” and added that it “would require collaboration from Canada Post, postal unions, other stakeholders, government and Canadians”. Given that Canada Post and the unions’ recent negotiations over pay and conditions were decidedly combative, this collaboration may  be difficult to achieve.

In the next stage of the Canada Post review process, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates will be “consulting Canadians from coast to coast to coast”, using the Task Force’s discussion paper as a starting point.

The discussion paper can be downloaded via this link