06.17.2015 10:07 AM

Trudeau delivers a smart move

I said, some time ago, that eliminating mail to-the-door delivery was dumb, dumb, dumb.

To wit, my made-up Tory Talking Points about the move:

“One, two-thirds of Canadians don’t get home delivery anymore. Why should that last one-third? We think everyone deserves to pay more and get less!

Two, the postal service can’t afford to provide postal services anymore. And those many years where we were reporting that we were doing well? Er, never mind. Now we’re doing poorly.

Three, no one will care, no one will notice. And your disabled, 90-year-old grandma, who can barely get to the front door, let alone a “community mailbox” several blocks away? Well, she needs the exercise.”

The Liberal leader has now wisely said he will restore it. I think that’s smart because:

  • It’ll be popular with seniors, who (a) vote more (b) have drifted away from the Grits (c) see mail delivery as something they’ve already paid for with their tax dollars
  • It’ll be popular with those who (rightly) see community mail boxes as places that are inconvenient, messy and often inaccessible and/or dangerous
  • It’ll be popular because elections are, you know, sort of hard to win when you are promising to do less for more

After Eve Adams and Bill Blair and Chrystia Freeland, after the “open nominations” farce, after forcing candidates to vote his way on matters of conscience, Justin Trudeau’s democratic reform proposals are simply not credible.

But with his wee Canada Post idea, he’s delivered a winner.



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    sezme says:

    Smart move for Trudeau to get on board the NDP platform, anyway.

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    Eric says:

    A good move perhaps, but didn’t the NDP ride that horse out of the barn quite a while ago.

    While some proposals in yesterday’s announcement seem good, it seems like throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks.

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    The Stig says:


    You’re kidding yourself if you think that anyone (save the wonkiest of wonks) cares at all about the candidate nomination process.

    Now Trudeau’s reform speech may fail to land for a myriad of other reasons (first of which is a total lack leadership and direction) but you can’t draw a straight line from candidate nominations to this issue. Not for the general voting public.

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      doconnor says:

      It’s strange that no cares about the nomination process, but when we talk about PR people get obsessed about how the list MPs would be chosen.

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    Priyesh says:

    I agree. Seniors really depend on this. I’m just not sure it’s much of a ballot box winner.

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      Steve T says:

      How do seniors get groceries? What about seniors that live in areas without home delivery? They seem to survive.

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    Matt says:

    More like they are becoming more and more desperate with their sliding popularity and are throwing everything at the wall hoping something sticks.

    Forcing CP to keep a money losing part of their operations is dumb, dumb, dumb.

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    Matt says:

    And the link you provided goes to a story on yesterday’s election reform announcement.

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      Matt says:

      Nevermind. It’s in the article. My bad. Missed it the first time.

      Paul Wells take on the mail promise:

      But, in case the server crashes, he’s also borrowed the NDP’s promise to “stop the Harper Conservatives’ plan to end door-to-door mail delivery in Canada.” (Note that this is not a promise to restore door-to-door delivery where it has been cut again and again since 1980, merely to cancel further cuts. As Chris Selley has written, this amounts to a pledge to enshrine 2013 as the summit of perfection for Canadian home mail delivery.)


      So he’s apparently promising to do what the NDP have already promised to do.

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        Matt says:

        That should have read he’s promising to do LESS than the NDP have already promised to do.

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    Jim Walsh says:

    I think you might have being facetious with that take-away from Justin’s announcement, but that particular item has the same issue as with Mulcair’s earlier (and indeed identical) pledge. No mention of how that’s paid for. Crown corporations have an obligation to fund themselves. And Canada Post doesn’t think it can afford door to door delivery of an ever-decreasing amount of mail. They’ve been allowed to skate on their massive pension liability for too long as it is (much like the federal public service).

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      MississaugaPeter says:


      Canada Post is profitable. Part of it is because almost every house built after 1987 has to get it’s mail from a supermailbox.

      WK, JT may be opening a can that may backfire. 1. Already something the NDP would do. 2. Brings to light the special treatment you and inner city folks have been getting since 1987. If he had said that he would assure the end of superboxes for us as well, there would be no chance of backfire. More than a few suburbs folks ask why do we not get the same service as Toronto? Most took it for granted out here that we had the same service as Toronto. When it was going to be scrapped for Toronto, we realized that was not the case, and felt offended. In the end: JT could win in the inner city, but it is a massive bust elsewhere. Seniors in the suburbs also matter and do vote.

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        Jim Walsh says:

        Canada Post made money in one year out of the last (three or four?). But they don’t think they can continue to with the decreasing volume. And they were only “profitable” last year by neglecting to properly fund the pension.

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    Liam Young says:

    Yup, JT is playing catch up with the NDP, trying to shape policy that smells more like that of the NDP every day. I don’t envy his place: he either looks like ‘Tougher Tom’ or ‘Harper Lite’ with nothing left in the middle for him to waffle about.

    As an aside, I’ll remind everyone out there who doesn’t have box delivery (yet): your real estate value took a hit when Harper announced this scheme, especially if you’re one of the lucky ones to get boxes on your front lawn.
    There is an implicit expectation of continuance of ALL services when purchasing real estate and anyone buying now through to the end of this mess will make mail delivery part of their consideration, albeit a small one.
    Another reminder is that this is Harper’s very cute nod to his base of suburban voters that already live in a world surrounded by boxes.

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    Brad says:

    Most Canadians do not follow politics or are counting down the days to the election.

    They are however, hearing 3 or 4 or more times a day Justin Trudeau is just not ready for the job of PM.

    For Justin, whether it’s true or not, it is too late, the damage is done.

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    bazie says:

    I didn’t realize how well this issue was going to affect people until I went for a walk into an upper middle class residential district in Toronto. Obviously some canvasing group had been through the area because everying 3rd of 4th house had a sign to stop the postal changes. Of all the issues out there, THIS is the one causing block after block to put up signs? Really?

    It’s crazy what animates people, but eliminating small annoyances like walking down the block for your mail is while small it is a very noticeable change. You have to physically go out and do this thing you didn’t have to do before. You may not like wars in afghanistan or polluting oil sands or whatever else it is you vote for, but they don’t personally annoy you. Heck, Apple is creating a whole product (the watch) premised on the idea that taking your phone out of your pocket is too big an annoyance. And they are probably right, people care about this kind of thing.

    Personally, the idea of paying extra money for this kind of service is laughable. There should be an opt in program so disabled people can get door service for free and it might even be a good idea to make non disabled people be able to pay if they really want it. But I’m not wanting to spend a lot of public money on this.

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    Mike Palecek says:

    When did the Liberals commit to “restoring” home mail delivery? As far as I am aware, they have only committed to stopping more cuts going forward. For the residents of nearly 1 million addresses, this will be too little, too late. The NDP has committed to actually reversing the cuts and restoring door to door delivery if they are elected.

    Mike Palecek
    National President,
    Canadian Union of Postal Workers

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      Warren says:

      Thanks Mike!


      (who represented CUPW as a labour lawyer, a million years ago)

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    Steve T says:

    This issue drives me nuts, as one of the 66% of Canadians who hasn’t received home delivery in 20+ years.

    Why in the world should I subsidize the privileged 33%? Yes, we are getting less for our Canada Post dollar. That’s because less and less mail is being delivered. I frankly don’t want to keep getting more crap (junk mail) stuffed in my community mailbox, so Canada Post can continue to afford home delivery to the privileged 33%. Nor do I want to pay increasingly higher parcel rates.

    The arguments about “the elderly and disabled” is such a red herring. Surely not every elderly or infirm person in Canada currently receives home delivery. Somehow, those without home delivery are surviving. I’m also curious how those with home delivery get their groceries? Or go to the movies? Are they suggesting that they never leave their house, or that no one can complete these tasks for them? Again, the majority of seniors and disabled folks don’t get home delivery, and it hasn’t been raised as an issue until the decision was made to level the playing field for everyone.

    This is nothing more than a privileged few trying to protect their self-interest. That includes those with home delivery, as well as CUPE. That’s fine, but let’s not pretend there is something noble or altruistic about it.

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    Joe says:

    Four generations ago the Ice man stopped delivering ice. Three generations ago the Bread man stopped delivering bread. Two generations ago the Milk man stopped delivering milk. Its time the Mail man got with the program.

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    Tom J W says:

    1. How does grandma in the suburbs where CMBs have existed for over 20 years get her mail?

    2. Does lil justine plan to repeal the Canada Post Ac and Charter his father created?
    He will have to. The Act de-politicized the post office. Lil justin and tommy boy want to re-politicize it.

    3. 2003 EU mandate ended 1st class mail monopoly and govt. run post offices. Germany sold it off, Netherlands,Sweden,and Britian also to certain extents.

    Canada is 25 years behind the curve.

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