12.21.2013 09:59 PM

In Sunday’s Sun: going postal

If governments gradually defeat themselves, then the imbecilic boss of Canada Post dramatically accelerated that process this week.

Didn’t catch what Canada Post “CEO” Deepak Chopra told a Parliamentary committee? Rest assured: you’re going to be hearing about it a lot, between now and the next federal election. If Chopra isn’t repudiated by the Prime Minister sometime soon – or if he isn’t quickly forced into an ignominious departure – the words he uttered before an emergency session of the House of Commons transport committee will live forever in the Pantheon of Political Perfidy.

Here’s what Chopra said, when asked about his idiotic plan to eliminate urban home delivery, and thereby force Canadian seniors to slog through snowbanks and foul weather to some distant “community mail box” to get their mail:

“Seniors are telling me, ‘I want to be healthy. I want to be active in my life. They want to be living fuller lives.”

Get that? Seniors are saying to him that they need more exercise, says this Conservative Party appointee. Confined to a wheelchair? Got a bad hip or knee? Too bad! Chopra and his boss, Stephen Harper, apparently think all you Canadian seniors out there are lazy and slothful, and – without consultation, without warning – they want to eliminate the mail delivery you’ve had your entire life, so you can get some fresh air! The long march awaits!

In salary, Chopra got half a million bucks last year, he got nearly $200,000 as a bonus, and he’s got 22 vice-presidents. He also got headlines that aren’t helpful to his political bosses, to say the least: “Canada Post CEO defends delivery cuts, says seniors will get more exercise.” (Globe and Mail) “Canada Post’s Deepak Chopra Says Seniors Want Exercise From Picking Up Mail.” (Huffington Post) “Canada Post boss to seniors: The walk to your community mail box will be good for your health.” (National Post)

Who’s doing media relations for this guy? The Khmer Rouge? Comical Ali?

Can’t you just picture Chopra in a bank lineup somewhere, readying the deposit of his big, fat bonus from Canada Post – which, by the by, lost $134 million in the first three quarters of 2013 – and a couple of seniors push their walkers up to him? “Hey, Deepak,” say they. “Can you please cut our home mail delivery? We’d like some fresh air.”

Can’t picture that? Me neither. That’s why I phoned and emailed the media relations folks at Canada Post in Ottawa to ask how Chopra was able to testify, with a straight face, that “seniors are telling me” they want exercise and no home delivery. A poll? A focus group? Some online consultation? “I strongly suspect Mr. Chopra’s statement was made without any consultation whatsoever,” I told the Canada Post flaks. “And that is what I intend to write unless provided with clear evidence to the contrary.”

By deadline, no such evidence had been provided. Funny, that.

Personally, I don’t think there is one senior in Canada – not one – who has told Canada Post’s CEO they wanted to lose home mail delivery because they wanted “to be active.” I think Deepak Chopra told a bald-faced whopper to Members of Parliament, in fact. (But if he ever offers up some evidence, we will of course dutifully pass it along.)

In the meantime, however, this clown has created a gargantuan political mess for the Conservative government, one that is bigger than Rob and Doug Ford. Given that Canadian seniors have been the voting demographic that has been most consistently loyal to the Harper Conservatives, we can only assume that (a) Stephen Harper wishes to return to relative security of lobbying for right-wing interests at the National Citizen’s Coalition, or (b) the Cons have gotten bored with this governing stuff, and they want to give Justin Trudeau a chance.

Either way, there is really only one way to describe what has happened to the Harper Conservatives latest move:

They’ve gone postal.

40 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    It really was a colossally stupid thing to say.

  2. Penny Thoughts says:

    Yep. Brutal. Merge the stamping part of Canada Post with the Mint and privatise delivery to local providers across the country. Coca cola runs a global brand using local bottlers. Surely, Canada Post can organize their routes in the same way.

    • Mark says:

      You really think mail delivery and delivery of a soft drink are the same thing? It would appear your thoughts are worth less than a penny.

  3. Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    Why oh why did we let the woman go to the UK that has privatized their postal service?

    Wish I could remember her name. She was great.

    Would like Mr. Carney back also.

    • David Rhind says:

      Moya Greene

    • jack says:

      That “Woman” Moya Greene was The First To begin the Downfall, She is no hero. She was the idiot who borrowed $3 billion from the taxpayers to “Modernize the Post Office. Before that, Canada Post Made $$ for Canadians. Over a Billion $$ over the last 20 yrs. If “DeepPocket”‘ Chopra has his way, (The Conservative Agenda) then we will all be paying through the nose for Mail service. Guaranteed, Don’t believe the CONSTANT lies of this Criminal Conservative Gov’t. Expand Postal Services, so that All Canadians in Urban areas receive door to door, as the Canada Post Charter Mandates. Expand Postal Banking, so that Canadians who as of now are NOT served by BIG Banks, can have their banking needs met by the already established Postal Infrastructure. Harper is whittling away our beautiful country, one omnibus bill at a time. They have committed election fraud, scandal after scandal, they attack our democracy. I’m sick of it, I hope Canadians really educate themselves about what is going on here….Harper and his cronies, creating a crisis, to make it look like our profitable public Post Office is in dire straits, so that he can sell it off to his rich corporate buddies, and Canadians will be left scratching their heads, wondering what the heck happened??

  4. Arnold Murphy says:

    If it is not mail, or moving mail it should be cut from Canada Post! That means the CEO, his finely feathered friends and the elites of political patronage squirrelled away in the department. If they don’t want to deliver to the door, where the service exists and in new communities they should pack the whole show up. The name of the game is postal delivery, not advertising, not banking but letter and parcel delivery. My management skills may not be at par with this bozo, but I can see that he needs to show some propriety before anyone should defer to him.

  5. Ian says:

    Moya Greene was the prior CEO. She was fully capable. She wanted to transform the place, including cleaning up the massive amounts of bureaucracy and waste in head office, but her shareholder didn’t get it. This guy on the other hand, prior job was running Pitney Bowes Canada. Basically a branch plant sales force. He is way out of his league as he has clearly demonstrated. If you look at his hiring, where he is from (905 area code), and when he was hired with relationship to the prior election cycle you might be able to understand why he is there now.

    I don’t know how these committees work but can they hold him accountable for misleading statements? Besides his comments about senior input he also mislead the committee regarding the number of VPs he has (32 not 22).

  6. Verne Jarvis says:

    I am a postal worker. Chopra lies to us all the time. Like saying in his little seven minute video “employee” version that the company, get this, the company “respects the collective bargaining process”. The must have edited the rest of that line which undoubtedly stated “as long as the government is ready to enforce our will on you.”

  7. ‘Can’t you just picture Chopra in a bank lineup somewhere, readying the deposit of his big, fat bonus from Canada Post’.

    Actually no, he probably uses direct deposit.

    Nation building doesn’t stop because a government monopoly has been disrupted by new technology. Our own MP and Cabinet Minister gave a phone interview where he said the Canada Post “business model is broke” to which I say any national post model is indeed changing but it doesn’t mean the only solution is to watch it wither a slow death.

    As long as any government abdicates its responsibility to bring services to markets where the private sector can’t or won’t enter, then we will get the line that the only solution to changing markets is to cut services. I believe if pressed, these government officials would eventually crumble and reveal the true foundation of their beliefs which is that they desire nothing less than an out-source everything state.

  8. Don Caissie says:

    Moya Green was that woman’s name. She was a prize, that’s why they bought her out of her contract and asked her to move on. Just as I suspect will happen to Deepak. If Harper isn’t there to hold his hand apparently he has no idea what to say and just starts making up lies!

    • jack says:

      Don’t kid yourself, Harper is behind this whole mess.

      • Don Caissie says:

        I absolutely agree! My point was that Deepak put his foot in it under questioning, if it isn’t scripted in front of him from Harper he has no idea what to say!

        • jack says:

          Ooops, Sorry Don Caissie, I thought I was commenting, in general, after my rant. :b You and I are on the same page. They are a caucus of puppets, with hardly a backbone among them. Chopra was, (like the many conservative Senators now under investigation,) Appointed by Harper.

  9. Mike Tevlin says:

    Perhaps someone can help me out with this:

    There was a federal minister (Finance?) decades ago who said that it doesn’t matter that energy prices are going up, because people should just wear a sweater when it is cold. He also said that he that we shouldn’t tax pet food because dogs are a part of the family. This drove my grandmother wild. She talked about it for years. Deepak’s comments sound similar.

    Does anyone remember, or do I have this wrong?

  10. Kelly says:

    Sorry but this is already forgotten by any voters Harper is interested in. Many young people laugh at and curse the post office. Waste of time and trees. And Harper doesn’t need the votes of the people who get home delivery now.

    Personally, I think the post office should just be a branch of government subsidized through general revenues. It’s a central institution that binds the country together. One of only a few left.

  11. Ted H says:

    Maybe a cruise stamp, right up the butt.

  12. Joe says:

    Reading the comments on this topic reminds me of the Daylight Savings Time debate that happened in Alberta decades ago and how the cows would stop giving their milk if we switched time and how the chickens would stop laying eggs if we switched time. Or maybe the death threat of drinking water fluoridation. Don’t fluoridate the water or else the kid’s brains will turn to mush. Don’t cut home delivery or Canada as we know and love it will cease to exist! Beginning to look like Warren is trying to out conservative the Conservatives.

  13. Jon says:

    http://www.kamloopsnews.ca/article/20131004/KAMLOOPS0101/131009927/-1/kamloops/

    It’s not just Canada Post’s CEO wanting to downsize, it comes internally from their MPs such as Kathy McLeod in Kamloops

  14. e.a.f. says:

    The service cuts to Canada Post is simply another attack, by the slimers, on people working in unionized positions. Once they have eliminated the unions they will be much happier and Canadian citizens much poorer. its the race to the bottom. its the race to increase poverty.

    While these slimers want workers to “work” for their money with minimal or no pay raises, the elites such as choopie are given huge bonuses for simply doing their job. In some cases, not doing their job. The majority of Canadians only receive bonuses if they go over and beyond their responsibilities or they help their employer increase profits. This clown gets a bonus which 4 families could live on, for making a mess of Canada post.

    Once they lay off the postal workers the deliveries to these “community” boxes will go to the lowest bidder. its lovely service. When they first roar up to the boxes and start “tampering” with them you’ll want to call 911 because you think someone is robbing them. there is no security, there is nothing. perhaps after the banks start to incur losses from stolen credit cards, they might prevail upon the slimers to re institute home delivery.

    We moved to an area which had “community” boxes. On Vancouver island we at least have decent whether, but if it snows or freezes, trust me people do not go for their mail, unless they do it in their cars. No cars, no getting the mail. I couldn’t imagine someone having to go get their mail in other regions in Canada. Perhaps “choopie” could try speaking with some who have titanium knees. One fall on those and you are done. of course the benefit of having seniors go pick up their mail in the snow and ice, is more of them will fail, break their hips and die. that will require less pension money paid to them. So the slimers get rid of unionized workers and seniors all in one swoop. How wonderful for the slimers.

    if the people of Canada continue to vote for the Cons, they deserve what they get. The rest of may have to look for some place else to live. The Canada I know is fast disappearing.

    Now as to Trudeau the younger, we don’t know how much of an improvement he will be over the cons. if he involves people such as the lieberals from B.C. he won’t pick up much in the way of votes. we know what Clark, her brother, and her ex have done to this province. When it comes to providing services to people the lieberals in B.C. are such a lovely lot. Not only do they charge seniors for wheelchairs in care homes, B.C. has the highest rate of child poverty in Canada. so lets hope Trudeau the younger seperates himself from them. His father brought great change to this country and implemented one of the best social programs, for income security, working people ever had. the Unemployment Insurance program of 1971. since then, many a governing party has hacked at it until it is no longer recognizable. Mulroney started the cuts and martin finished them. Not nice.

    A challenge to “choopie”: he gives up the limo and cars for a month and gets around like seniors without a vehicle. Oh, and he has to do it on crutches. he may not know it but many people break their legs and can’t make it to their mail boxes in bad weather. May the guy rot in hell along with his slimmer buddies.

    • Kaspar Juul says:

      Uh the BC Liberals haven’t been associated with the federal liberals since 1987. There’s plenty of free enterprise conservative types in that party so that point is really a non point.

  15. Merrill Smith says:

    There seems to be a bit of a concensus that Harper won’t lose votes over this because it only affects cities and they don’t vote for him anyway. I live in Ottawa West-Nepean which has a very large seniors population and elects the odious John Baird with huge majorities. I wonder how many of my elderly neighbours will be looking forward to getting their exercise to pick up what is mostly junk mail, including especially Baird’s taxpayer funded propaganda?

  16. No one is telling the truth–the facts are that the Post office took a pension holiday for nearly 20 years–posted record profits–gave each year to the Federal Government–a dividend between 100 and 300 million dollars.

    The federal government in the late 90’s took the surplus (30 billion dollars) from the Pension Fund to pay down the debt claiming they were only responsible for the “actuarial payout” Well the tipping point has finally arrived–more employees will soon be retiring than putting in! No attempt was ever made to repay that money–Chretien/Martin/Harper.

    The money is still owed to these employees soon to retire–

    Now we have the current government claiming they don’t want the “tax payer” to pay for this shortfall. So let’s cut service.

    The Senate scandal is chump change compared to this boondoggle. My only question “Are all governments taking pension holidays? So they don’t have to raise taxes.

    I beg to differ with Prime Minister Harper’s approach that tax payer should not be burdened–they took a lot a lot of money over the years–A debt is still a debt–Most of these pension plans are made into law–but they keep breaking the law.

    Postal service should not be destroyed–All I can say to the Government–pay your debts!

  17. Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    What government was in charge when this “pension holiday” was put in place?

  18. Minnie says:

    Postage and flyer mail is all paper and paper comes from trees, trees that absorb CO2 GHG. Instead of cutting down trees we should be preserving them instead of using them to make paper for mail, newspapers, toilet, boxes, telephone books, etc.. It can be done.

  19. e.a.f. says:

    perhaps the people who contributed to the pension plan at Canada Post can go and have charges filed against the various governments who were responsible for this. when you don’t pay back money you owe its a form of theft. The government certainly can’t say the postal workers are the problem. Looks like it was the Postal Workers who were supporting the country. this of course is not unheard of. The pensions of other federal government workers were used in a similar manner. The governments of the day would loan the money out to provinces at 3% while you could put money in the bank and get 15% interest on your investment. the governments weren’t even smart enough to figure that one out. Well they may have figured they wouldn’t be in office on the day of reakoning

  20. Ian says:

    The impact on Harper here isn’t just the loss of service and price increases. It’s the fact that Deepak represents one more inept appointment by Harper on top of his senate appointment failures. His party has portrayed him as this great manager (sitting alone at his desk working long into the night) and yet he decides to put a stamp meter salesman from the Toronto suburbs in charge of a $6B Crown Corporation. Deepak then proceeds to turn a profitable operation into a money sinkhole in less than 2 years on the job. He decides to deal with declining market share with price increases and service cuts. He decides to cut front line mail delivery people versus management and back office. He completely sticks his foot in his mouth and offends one of Harper’s most important voter groups. If I was the opposition I would put this guy up in front of public committees as much as possible and let him continue to provide campaign fodder.

    Harper likes to portray Justin as not capable for the job. Justin’s response should be “really…from the guy who hired Deepak to run Canada Post and appointed Duffy and Brazeau to the Senate? Please oh great manager teach me…”

  21. Paul says:

    I don’t care who prime minister is ..this thing is bust.. why the heck dont they just reduce home delivery to twice weekly or whatever the carriers and system can handle , reduce work force through attrition, dont have to buy all these community mail boxes, clear snow from them and tick off everyone , 32 VP’s is a joke , lets see the titles, lets see the trips, expense reports , perks, paid for for these people – all you have to do is look at announcements from our universities on MBA graduates – full of Canada Post , government types – who not only often get time off to do these things but get tuition, pension and salaries paid at same time

    Yes its a big place but so far all the VP’s havent been able to put together a reasonable a solution to its woes have they…

    I hate this hogwash you hear always about you need to pay well to get good people …well we as taxpayers overpay to get not so good people (maybe nice but decision making is gruesome) – recruiting is more of a problem because of lousy leadership, too much read tape , soured labour management relationships – thousands upon thousands of unheard grievances, bloated middle management, lousy customer service.

    Why would you think when your mandate is to deliver the mail that you cut that out , then increase price of stamps , main revenue source by 30% for less service – how many MBA’s do you need to come up with that!!!!!!!!

    • david ray says:

      this isn’t about postal service it’s about power and we don’t have it. what could go wrong with a system that takes money from you by force and gives it to self-appointed douchebags who pay thugs large amounts of money to beat the crap out of you if you disagree as in G20. the media only starfucks each other listening to experts who agree with their agenda and hides behind websites the rest of the time except when they show up in your inbox begging for money. there that oughta cover it 🙂

      from the day you’re born
      to the day you die
      a man with a gun will tell you why
      you need to jump and just how high
      now hands up and reach for the sky

      “I have seen the enemy and it’s us.”
      –pogo

  22. e.a.f. says:

    All political parties should be making “hay” with “coopie’s” quotes. Some enterprising person could print a collection of brilliant quotes from the slimers and their appointees. chopie’s quotes as reported in various news media sounds so Marie Annointe,

    If the federal Liberals don’t want to have some fun with the quotes and lack of judgement by stevie there certainly are other political parties who might have a comic or two who can handle the job. Ms. May could certainly explain the problem of taking money out and not putting it back in, by comparing this situation to the results of not replanting trees. Its easy. There certainly are enough Quebec politicians and then there is the NDP. This is something which would be ripe for a skit on a CBC or APTN comedy show. Demonstrating the federal Conservatives are not the great managers they claim to be can best be done by comedy.

    now as to the “pension holiday” the government took from paying their share of the Canada Post pension premiums, both the federal “Conservatives and the federal Liberals have done this. Both parties did things such as this with all federal government worker pension funds. The day of reckoning has arrived. The federal Liberals might be advised to get out in front of this one and admit they too were guilty of this. then go on to pledge it will never happen again. That is if they want to win. The liberals will have to explain. Only those parties which have not been in power have an exit and perhaps not those either, because where were they while this was all going on. Did the other political .parties just let it go by instead of mounting a caimpaign against it

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