News / Ottawa

Two thousand expected to flock to Parliament for Canada Post protest

With files from The Canadian Press

Canada Post employees are gearing up for a mass march Sunday to protest the end of door-to-door mail services.

About two thousand people are expected to flock to Parliament Hill for the demonstration, with many coming by bus from Toronto and Montreal, according to a national union representative with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).

“It doesn’t seem like a plan to save Canada Post – it seems like a plan to kill it,” said Mike Palecek.

The Crown corporation is planning to replace foot delivery with community boxes, increase postage prices and cut thousands of jobs over the next five years.

Authorities say Canada Post will save $900 million a year with these changes.

But Palecek said the corporation should follow other mail carriers worldwide and offer bank services or insurance as a means of generating more revenue.

He said an increase in postage stamps – to 85 cents per stamp – will drive people away from the service. Canada Post has said that fewer people are buying stamps and using its services.

Bob Brown, a 59-year-old ByWard Market resident who uses an electric wheelchair, said it’s tough for him to navigate snowy sidewalks. A trek to a community mailbox would be impossible some winter days.

“Not everyone is able to go out independently and get their mail,” said the member of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. “I need assistance in putting my coat on.”

He said most people on disability or other fixed income can’t afford a computer to do monthly banking online, so they rely on the mail to make payments.

Canada Post sent a written statement to Metro Tuesday to say it was aware of the demonstration planned for Sunday.

“Canada Post's 5-point Action Plan was built on consultations held across the country,” read the statement. “Less mail means change is necessary to protect postal services in Canada. And we will further engage with communities as we move ahead.”

Metro could not speak with Transport Minister Lisa Raitt by press time.

The demonstration will be Sunday, Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. It will start at Dundonald Park on Somerset and Lyon streets.

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