10/20/2014 01:02 EDT | Updated 12/20/2014 05:59 EST

Giving a U.S. Company the Contract for Canada's Community Mailboxes Is Insult To Injury

This week I found out that Canada Post has awarded a lucrative contract "to an American company to supply the new community mailboxes to replace door-to-door mail delivery over the next five years."

It is bad enough that the elimination of door to door mail service will cut 8,000 jobs and cause the elderly, handicapped and rural Canadians distress. But to top it all off when you could have at least had a Canadian company make the boxes not even this will happen. It is like rubbing salted shards of glass in the wound. In December, Canada Post chief executive Deepak Chopra defended the controversial cuts to home delivery, saying the many seniors he consulted welcomed the idea because it would provide them with exercise."

It is comments like this that makes a person's blood boil, the amount of disrespect one must process to be perfectly fine with being officially quoted with such a statement by a major Canadian publication. To save face the post office said that if you went to your doctor's office and got a note they would continue to deliver to you. A condescending overture by an organization that can to no right. The medical community responded in kind that "This demonstrates a complete lack of awareness of the challenges facing health care professionals and patients seeking access to care," said Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, president of the Canadian Medical Association, in a statement."

Laurin Liu Member of Parliament for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC summed the debacle up in the house as such, "people are being asked to pay more for less service. However, the postal service has been profitable for 16 of the past 17 years. The only year the corporation posted a deficit was 2011, the year employees were locked out."

As it would turn out the only year that the decision to eliminate door to door delivery would be made on was 2011. "Conservative-approved plan didn't cut from the $10 million a year payroll for the company's 23 president and vice-presidents. Instead, these executives worked with the Conservatives to cut services Canadians rely on."

A number of countries in Europe and Australia have successfully implemented postal banking services and are now making money. Instead what Canada Post is doing is cutting service and eliminating many of the front-line services instead of increasing revenue.

Canada will be the most developed country and the only of the G8 without door to door home delivery. The argument is that the decline in letters no longer makes door to door delivery feasible. Truthfully new technology has made the written word obsolete, and online banking and emails have made putting pen to paper nostalgic. Yet technology has contributed to another advantageous avenue for the postal worker. Online shopping has become more practiced and continues to increase. On October 15 the Wall Street Journalpublished a story stating "Wal-Mart Stores Inc. appealed to investors for patience Wednesday, as it tries to retool its operations for shoppers who are buying more online."

Purchasing goods on the internet equates to more shipping by the post office, which is why Canada post just turned a profit of 62 million, notably, the Conference Board report predicted Canada Post would lose $400 million in 2014 rather than showing a profit.

Back to the foreign boxes made in Kansas. When asked about this, a spokeswoman for Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, who is responsible for Canada Post, did not respond to a request for comment. Classic Conservative tactic. To be fair the elimination of door to door mail delivery will affect only a third of the populace, yet this is what is wrong with society. Two thirds of this nation that has to walk a block to get their mail will say "I don't have door to door why should they." This has become an approach to life, to rationalize in such a way only divides and inevitably conquers.

The decision to do away with an institution that Canadians have had since before Confederation is not a sign of progress, we regress as a society by taking such a drastic step back. Whose property value will deteriorate on your block with the placement of a new box? To cut off your nose to spite your face has no better example than this failure. Queen Elizabeth did not want to be the last monarch of Scotland, Lyndon Johnson did not want to be the first president to lose a war, ergo the postmaster general that has door to door mail eliminated during his tenure will go down in history as the worst to hold the position.

If mail delivery to Canadian homes is eradicated on his watch, the postmaster general should be forced to resign. According to Canada Post's own annual reports, the Conference Board was wrong about 2012, they were wrong about 2013 and now they're wrong about 2014. The report is discredited, the Conservatives are wrong and Canada Post management is wrong.

When I see the shiny new American made boxes in my neighbourhood, I am going to be reminded of failure. The new key that I will have to position on my key chain will become a symbol of ineptitude. The holes in the side of my house where my mailbox used to hang will stare back at me as a constant reminder of disappointment. Regardless of the outcome the damage is done.


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