Canada Post has accelerated its drive in this regard since February 13, 2013 when it leaked a headline to CTV News “that sweeping cuts may be ahead for Canada Post as it faces a $327 million operating loss last year”. It was then reported that in order to stay afloat, Canada Post was considering reducing home delivery from five to four, or even three days, closing some of the 6,500 retail outlets across the country and consolidating the 21 sorting centres to just major cities, that is Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
At the time, Canada Post spokesperson Jon Hamilton said that “all options are on the table as the company figures out a way to remain viable in the near future”. Richard Madan from CTV News also quoted Hamilton as saying “Canada Post is putting its latest ideas on the table about a year before it has to start the bargaining process with its unions for the next deal”.
This leaked report by Canada Post to CTV National News was done in February 2013 at the same time Canada Post had commissioned the Conference Board of Canada to write a report on the future of the post office which was to be released not long after. It also happens that Deepack Chopra, CEO of Canada Post is a board member of the Conference Board of Canada. This fact immediately brought into question the credibility of the report which was going to be released by the monopoly right think tank.
Two months later, on April 23, 2013 the report by the Conference Board was finally released with much media frenzy with all interveners speculating the same that declining mail volumes would result in Canada Post losing $1 billion in operating revenues by the year 2020. The report recommended major service cutbacks and concessions from postal workers.
The author of the report wrote: “Canadians must consider what kind of postal service they really need in the years ahead”. This immediately prompted Canada Post to agree with the author and create an on-line discussion with Canadians on the future of the post office. CPC also undertook a tour of the country to meet with business groups behind closed doors to discuss their needs and seek their input.
This gave rise to all kinds of media editorials and commentaries openly advocating the privatization of the post office. It culminated with another report, this time by the C.D. Howe Institute, giving its support to contracting out, privatization and eliminating what it referred to as “collective agreement constraints” on the Corporation for not being able to initiate layoffs.
The Harper government and members of the conservative cabinet such as Liza Raitt also commented that the government will insist upon a viable post office and one which is not a “burden to taxpayers”. The government is said to be considering all of its options regarding Canada Post.
One can clearly see that it is Canada Post Corporation who is orchestrating all the media attention to discuss its financial viability so that it can then act before the official review of its mandate set to take place in 2014 and initiate cuts to postal services as soon as possible. With this framework in mind, it goes without saying that Canada Post has also used its second quarter report which announced on August 27, 2013 a loss before tax of $104 million for the purpose of serving its own propaganda and further pursuing its own aims.
Everything is a written scenario by the Corporation from A to Z. The actual true facts about the Corporation are left behind and speculations are the order of the day. Nobody, not even the corporate governance has called upon the CEO to render accounts for the corporate decisions affecting the revenues of the business and no discussion on how the Corporation spends its money has been held other than to say that labour costs and service to Canadians are the source of the economic problems facing the Corporation.
Louis Lang is right in pointing out in his article all the lost revenues due to the privatization of services that we use to provide to the Canadian people and due to the privatization of parts of the Corporation’s retail network. He is also right in consistently showing that especially as regards to the pension, the Corporation has contributed significantly to the “crisis” by taking pension holidays for years and not making its obligations to the pension fund even in the period when the Corporation reported profits year after year.
*NOTE TO THE READERS:
There will be no Sunday e-mail for next week October 13, 2013 on account of the long week-end.