It is often said that a government is judged by its ability to make the trains run on time and deliver the mail. Sadly, on both counts, this Conservative government has failed Canadians.
Cuts to rail inspections and rail safety has had tragic and fatal consequences and the draining of Canada Post’s ability to get mail to the doorsteps of the country is hurting our economy, seniors and those living with disabilities.
As home delivery is being cut across the country, Canada will become the only developed country in the world not to have this service. The Conservatives have cried poverty yet Canada Post has turned a profit 19 out of the last 20 years, returning almost a billion dollars back to Canadians. Just last year, in which they did deliver the mail, they made almost $200 million dollars for taxpayers.
In fact, the only year in the last two decades that Canada Post lost the money was 2011 when management (with the backing of Mr. Harper) locked out the workers then forced them back to work. A drop-off in letter mail has been more than made up by a surge in packages from Canadians shopping and doing business online.
This past week, residents of Terrace found out their home mail delivery service is next on Mr. Harper’s chopping block. Almost 5,400 households in the area are scheduled to lose door-to-door delivery in 2016.
Hundreds of municipalities have been speaking out about the devastating impacts this will have on citizens in their communities. All of them want Mr. Harper’s plan for Canada Post to be stopped.
You can’t save a business by reducing services, raising costs, and chasing away customers, but that is exactly what Mr. Harper is trying to do with Canada Post. And it is families and small businesses who will bear the true cost of less service, and in particular seniors and people living with disabilities who get hurt most by shutting down door-to-door delivery.
I believe that we should be looking for best practices and examples in other countries who have successfully maintained their home delivery. There are many ways that Canada Post could innovate, become more dynamic, and even increase its revenues, all while maintaining the proud service it has offered to Canadians since day one.
I am proud that the NDP has promised to reverse Mr. Harper’s plan for Canada Post if we are elected to government in the fall election – and I am hopeful we can do so before Terracites are forced to lose their home mail delivery.
Member of Parliament
Skeena – Bulkley Valley