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June 23, 2021

What would privatizing Canada Post mean for rural mail delivery?

A sample comment from the latest Canada Post story on TheGlobeAndMail.com: “These postal workers are nothing but a bunch of over-paid whiners, with all their fancy perks, days off, etc. Legislate them back to work, pay them a wage that is appropriate to the skill needed to do the job, and what Canada Post can afford. If they don’t like that, privatize Canada Post, fire the whole bunch of them, and start over.”

Mailboxquebec2_en Needless to say, the Canada Post PR campaign has not won the entire nation.

Yet while “privatize those scumbags!” is a popular sentiment, a good point was raised in the Ottawa Citizen Thursday. If, in a theoretical world, Canada were to privatize its national postal service, what would it mean for rural mail delivery?

Before we get there, let’s just ram home this point that a good chunk of Canucks aren’t thrilled with the Canada Post. Though their labour fight may well be noble, anytime you infringe on a public service – whether it be a bus route, airport check-in or whatever – that’s just the way it goes. People can get behind “screw the man,” but not if it hampers their day-to-day life.

So it’s with that that detractors of the argument to privatize Canada Post have to deal with headlines like this from Canadian Business, “20 reasons for ending Canada Post’s monopoly.”

Though here’s a great counterpoint in support of the nationalized postal biz.

In the Citizen, an Ottawa resident wondered what might happen to rural mail service if the Canada Post’s nation-wide delivery mandate was wiped clean.

“Will advocates of the privatization of Canada Post," she wrote, "guarantee Canadians living in rural or remote areas, or even small towns and municipalities, that their mail would be delivered at the same cost and within the same time frames as that of Canadians living in major urban areas?”

It’s a great pro-Canada Post point, especially when you consider that about 20 per cent of Canadians still live in rural (towns of less than 1,000) areas.

And, kind of like how satellite operators know they can gouge rural Canadians that don’t have access to cable, it’s well within country livin’ folks’ right to concern over how their mail service might be affected if the Canada Post is no longer there to provide affordable delivery in line with what other Canadians receive.

What do you think? Still privatize Canada’s postal industry, even if it means rural Canucks take the hit?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...