Saturday, July 05, 2008

Going postal

Canada Post is still ours, right? It does still belong to us.

So why would the federal government appoint a panel of three people, the chair of which has already written two books advocating the end of postal monopolies, to determine whether Canada Post should be allowed to continue to provide us with universal service and some of the lowest postal rates in the world, or whether it would somehow be better to deregulate it so that private corps can have a piece of it?

The government has said it has no plans to privatize Canada Post, but what are the chances CP can survive a bidding war for contracts against private companies with non-unionized jobs?
And then there's the privacy angle :
Public Service Alliance of Canada:

"If any of participating corporations were based in the United States, they would be subject to the terms of the USA Patriot Act, which gives the U.S. government access to private information contained in the mail."

Well no need to worry yet - I'm sure all this will come out at the public hearings.
Oops. No public hearings.
Unlike previous reviews which held public meetings throughout Canada, this three person panel is only accepting written submissions from June till Sept. 2.
Gosh and I'll bet a lot of people are away at the summer cottage at the moment too.

The problem with deregulation is that it allows private corps to snap up the most lucrative aspects of a public corporation, leaving it - and us - with the debts associated with delivering the less profitable parts - like mail to that remote cottage - and paying more for less service.
Then there is usually another follow-up review panel which concludes that - surprise, surprise - the gutted public corporation just isn't financially sustainable after all so we may as well sell it off for whatever we can get for it. Like this :

From the bio of Moya Greene, Canada Post President & CEO :
"As Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy, in the Department of Transportation, Ms. Greene was responsible for broad reform of the over-burdened transportation system; the privatization of CN; the deregulation of the Canadian airline industry; and the commercialization of the Canadian port system."

So how is the deregulation and privatization of mail doing in other countries?
Hmmmm ... not so good.

In May 2007, United Parcel Service of America (UPS) lost its NAFTA Chapter 11 case against the Government of Canada regarding Canada Post's delivery of public sector services. UPS had claimed that Canada Post represented unfair competition for private companies providing similar services.

Is the Canada Post Corporation Strategic Review panel going to do UPS's work for them?

Your submission here :
Canada Post Corporation Strategic Review

h/t to the indefatigable Waterbaby

1 comment:

Dave said...

Up here (Yellowknife), Canada Post delivers mail via non-union employees. They have to provide their own car, and their own replacement if they call in sick. I think most of the postal outlets in drugstores in Canada are the same.

Not that anyone else is ever any better mind you.

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