by Thomas Walkom
The federal government’s planned postal reforms are vague and, in themselves, unsatisfying.
But they keep Canada Post’s home mail delivery service alive and, if properly addressed, could provide the basis for a system that works.
Of the reforms announced last week by Public Services Minister Carla Qualtrough, the one that received most attention was the decision to let roughly 4.2 million households keep door-to-door mail delivery.
Canada Post had planned to eliminate home delivery entirely as a cost-saving measure. But it managed to convert only 830,000 of five million households to so-called community mailboxes before Justin Trudeau’s Liberals were elected to government
Since the Liberals had run on a platform to save home delivery, the Crown corporation wisely put a moratorium on conversions until the government figured out what it wanted to do.
Last week the government finally did so. Qualtrough announced that the moratorium on new conversions would become permanent but that the 830,000 who had already lost home delivery would not get it back.
That decision was in line with the careful wording of the Liberal campaign platform. But it did not match a more extravagant election promise made by Trudeau when he pledged to “restore” home delivery to all those who had lost it.
Nor did it match the compromise recommendation of a Liberal-dominated Commons committee, which
urged the government to restore home delivery to the 350,000 households that had lost it since Aug. 3, 2015, the day the last election was called.