Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canada Post taking a licking

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It might not look like it in your mailbox, but a dramatic drop in volumes of mail sent by Canadians will lead to a projected $1-billion annual operating loss by Canada Post by 2020.

The Conference Board of Canada, which published a Canada Post-commissioned report Tuesday called The Future of Postal Service in Canada, said these days almost half of Canadian households send "no more than two pieces of mail through the postal system each month."

It urged Canada Post to look at its future options, including looking at scrapping door-to-door delivery to urban residential customers or delivering on alternate days. The ending of door -to-door delivery would save the corporation the most money annually: $576 million per year.

Janine Carmichael, Manitoba director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said while small businesses are helping with that reduction of mail by doing more communication through email, they also still rely on the regular delivery service.

"For small business, Canada Post will remain important because they still pay bills by cheque and they get paid by cheque," Carmichael said Tuesday.

Carmichael said while the CFIB appreciates Canada Post's elimination of banked sick days by employees last year, it still believes the Crown corporation can do more.

"Instead of looking on the service side for cuts, we would encourage them to look at the cost-cutting side," she said.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 24, 2013 B6

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