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MP Julian hosts Canada Post town hall

Burnaby-New Westminster NDP MP Peter Julian -
Burnaby-New Westminster NDP MP Peter Julian
— image credit:

To anyone concerned about losing home mail delivery, MP Peter Julian is giving you a chance to have your say.

On Thursday evening, the New Democrat Burnaby-New Westminster MP is hosting a town hall meeting on Canada Post's plan to eliminate door-to-door delivery within five years.

The move would make Canada the only major industrial nation without home postal delivery, Julian said. Every other public postal system in that group has actually expanded services in recent years.

Prime Minister "Stephen Harper can't even deliver the mail, which is … a pretty fundamental part of what governments should be doing," he said.

In addition to the "profound impacts" such a plan would pose for seniors, people with disabilities and small businesses, the alternative has shown to be unreliable and less secure.

There have been countless complaints of break-ins at community mailboxes.

"Some people say the 'superbox' is like a candy store for criminals," Julian said, noting it's adding to the potential for identity theft.

The fact most other public postal services in major industrial countries are running surpluses shows the problem isn't simply that the concept of door-to-door delivery is flawed, he said. Canada will become the only G8 country without home mail delivery.

The announcement was made by the federal government just hours before Parliament began its Christmas break.

It follows the direction the Conservative government has been heading. Harper "has made it clear he doesn't really believe in government, he doesn't really believe in services," said Julian.

"There's no winner here when the government, through blind ideology, wants to slash services rather than actually looking at where all the other industrialized countries are going."

As for Canada Post's assertion that its current way of operating is causing it to lose too much money, Julian said it had a surplus only two years ago.

"What we're seeing is a response to a couple of quarters that weren't as good at the same time as executive bonuses have skyrocketed. Of course that has an impact when you've got dozens of vice-presidents and they're all getting bonuses rather than reinvesting in services."

Julian believes the Crown corporation's troubles are being exaggerated and used as an excuse to eliminate home delivery.

He says it's not too late to pressure the government to change its mind. The town hall will help coordinate Burnaby citizens' efforts.

The key is that Canada Post won't be able to fully implement its plan before the federal election expected next year.

"What we're certainly seeing is Conservatives running scared because they're starting to see the reaction from the public."

• The Canada Post town hall will be held Thursday, March 20, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Nikkei Centre, 6688 Southoaks Crescent (near Sperling Avenue) in Burnaby. Info: Sandra, 604-775-5707 or peter.julian.c1@parl.gc.ca.

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

twitter.com/WandaChow

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