The Future of Canada Post
On January 24, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement announced a decision on the future direction of Canada Post. The government says their goal is to provide, "high-quality service at reasonable prices for Canadians across the country." Improving Canada's postal services is an important issue for municipalities across Canada.
In September 2016, the independent task force undertaking an analysis of Canada Post released a discussion paper: Canada Post in the Digital Age. It served as a starting point for consultations by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates. On December 13, 2016, the committee released their report: The Way Forward for Canada Post. FCM participated in this consultation, highlighting the need for meaningful consultations and partnerships between Canada Post and municipalities, as well as the importance of postal services to rural and remote communities across Canada.
Improving Canada's postal services is an important issue for municipalities across Canada, and FCM welcomes the release of a renewed vision of Canada Post by the federal government.
The program to convert home delivery to community mailboxes will be terminated effective immediately. This means that there will be no further conversions to community mailboxes from home delivery; however, existing community mailboxes will remain in place.
To help those who have difficulty accessing community mailboxes, Canada Post will significantly expand its accessibility program. The government announced the priority of establishing a national advisory panel of experts and advocates for seniors and people with disabilities, which will advise Canada Post on the development, implementation and promotion of an enhanced accessible delivery program. This will make it easier for those with the most difficulty accessing community mailboxes, particularly seniors and others with reduced mobility. This commitment to enhancing the accessible delivery program is an important step in supporting age-friendly and disability-friendly communities.
Many Canadians use remittance services to send money overseas. The federal government has committed to providing affordable remittance services to Canadians, and as such, they are asking Canada Post to increase its capacity in this area by better promoting these services to Canadians. This would include using its vast network of post offices across the country that offer postal money orders and digital remittances in partnership with MoneyGram.
In addition, Canada Post will explore partnership opportunities within the federal government, as well as other jurisdictions and communities, to leverage Canada Post's unique retail network to enhance access to government services, especially in rural and remote areas.
FCM welcomes this opportunity for municipalities to benefit from the expansion of services at existing Canada Post locations, and anticipates that existing services in rural and remote communities will be maintained.
FCM looks forward to working with the federal government and Canada Post to advance issues around rural and remote access to postal services and to create effective partnerships between Canada Post and local governments. FCM will continue to ensure that meaningful consultation, partnership and congruence with municipal planning are considered when Canada Post makes decisions about key services.
For more information, please contact Jean Lawson, Policy Officer, at 613-907-6246.