POLITICS

Canada Post service cuts need study by MPs, NDP argues

12/17/2013 02:57 EST | Updated 02/16/2014 05:59 EST
The Commons transport committee will meet behind closed doors Wednesday afternoon to discuss whether they should launch a full investigation into Canada Post service reductions announced last week.

The emergency session was apparently convened in response to a letter from New Democrat transport critic Olivia Chow, in which she gave the chair "advance notice" that she intended to submit a formal request for a pre-holiday confab.

Wednesday's confab is currently set to take placein camera, which means that it will be closed to media and the public, but the NDP has already released the motion they hope to see adopted.

It calls on the committee to look into the potential impact of the proposed changes, "with a particular focus on the elimination of home mail delivery in urban areas, reduced hours of service in rural areas and increased postage rates."

Among the proposed witnesses are Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra, as well as representatives from "affected stakeholders," including small businesses, charities and labour, as well as seniors, Canadians with disabilities "and other concerned groups."

Although the motion doesn't set a specific time line for the study, the committee would have to report back to the House before any changes come into effect.

The full text of the motion:

That the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities conduct a study of Canada Post’s recently announced decision to reduce services to Canadians, with a particular focus on the elimination of home mail delivery in urban areas, reduced hours of service in rural areas, and increased postage rates; that the study include an examination of possible alternative policy directions; that witnesses to be invited include the Minister of Transport, the CEO of Canada Post, and representatives from affected stakeholders including small businesses, charitable sector, labour, seniors, Canadians living with disabilities, Canada's municipalities and other concerned groups; and that the study be completed and reported to the House of Commons before the proposed Canada Post changes are scheduled to take effect.