CUPW, the union for Canada Post workers, has had some innovative ideas lately which the Harper and Trudeau governments are, not surprisingly, not too keen on.
Both governments pursue a neoliberal privatization agenda. Public services like CBC and Canada Post provide no profit layer to companies because they exist as public services. Privatizing them lets companies make more money from Canadians who currently pay for these organizations through taxes.
Companies can charge us more for them and make money. We all lose.
So when CUPW came out with ideas like postal banking, solar energy on postal buildings and an electric fleet of Canada Post vehicles, lots of people felt these were great, and obvious, ideas.
My Canada needs progressive, collaborative ideas like this that address marginalized people in society, help avert climate change and improve the fabric of society.
Postal banking helps economically marginal people who the banks discourage because they can’t make much profit from them. Which is why we have the horrible economic pariahs like Money Mart and other usurious cheque cashing and payday loan poor-bashing victimizers.
Since the banks reap billions in profits every quarter, they’re keen on keeping the federal government from pursuing postal banking. For good reason–for them–but not for the rest of us.
And the Trudeau government’s stance on this has been a new task force; see below. It indicates that Trudeau is continuing Harper’s privatization agenda.
Our Canada deserves better!
The government-appointed task force on the future of Canada Post released a very disappointing report in September. The overall aim seemed less about how to improve Canada Post so it serves Canadians better and more about how to cut services and save money.
Many of the task force’s suggestions would undermine the main role of Canada Post, which is to provide a public service to Canadians. Our post office ensures that everyone, regardless of geographic location, has access to an affordable means of communication.
It unites people and communities across our vast land. The service of delivering letters to all places in Canada at a common price still remains vital to both citizens and businesses. With rapidly increasing parcel delivery, despite a decline in letters, the business of delivery still remains a very relevant one.
That said, Canada Post revenues could be enhanced if it were to offer more services, as do most other postal services around the world. Of all the new service possibilities, the biggest and most profitable one, which the task force’s report declined to fully recommend, is postal banking.
Overall, the report is negative on starting a new post office bank, although it does open the door to providing new financial services and to partnering with banks and credit unions in rural and remote locations.