The Incompetence of the Canada Post Corporation

By Alexander Robak | Canada

As of October 16th, 2018, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has declared that they will begin rotating strikes across the country. Over the past month, these rotating strikes have hit many major cities across the country such as Mississauga, Ottawa, and Toronto. Not only have these major cities (which are responsible for the processing of much of Canada’s mail) been affected, but many of the smaller cities and townships in Canada have been affected as well. This strike comes in the wake of the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. The CUPW believes that striking will prove to be an effective method in ensuring a fair agreement for employees of Canada Post. However, all they are doing is hurting the much despised government-operated corporation.

As rotating strikes hit many regional distribution centers across the country, distribution of mail in Canada has been slowed to a snail’s pace. On top of this, these strikes are not expected to end any time soon and are not uncommon. Almost every time that a new CBA must be negotiated between Canada Post and the CUPW, the workers strike and demand more benefits and pay. This is doing nothing but annoying Canadian consumers and forcing them to lose trust in the once-beloved crown corporation. The only logical solution for the Canadian consumer in this situation would be to boycott Canada Post altogether and make the switch from public mail distribution systems to private ones, such as UPS and FedEx, when sending and receiving both mail and parcels. This solution will not only show the government how the Canadian people are losing trust in Canada Post and crown corporations but will put Canada Post in a state of financial danger if done correctly.

A Government Failure

The main problem that comes with the mere existence of a corporation such as Canada Post is that it is owned and controlled by the government of Canada, yet it does not maintain a monopoly over the mail system as a whole in Canada. While Canada Post does maintain a massive market share, it has nowhere near enough of a market share to choke out its competitors that are privately run. On top of this, these private competitors have often exceeded Canada Post in terms of quality of service and customer satisfaction. My question to the Canadian taxpayer is this: Why do we continue to allow ourselves to pay our income to support an overpriced government-owned corporation that is often beat out by its competitors?

Under no circumstances does it make sense for the Canadian consumer to support a crown corporation with tax dollars and also have to pay to use the service provided by the said crown corporation. This financial ineffectiveness on the part of Canada Post only plays into the fact that governments are inept at creating and managing businesses in the free market. If Canada Post were a private corporation, but still maintained this deplorable level of service, there is absolutely no way that it would survive in the free market, being forced to compete with giants such as FedEx and UPS. The only way Canada Post continues to exist is through the extortion of the Canadian taxpayer.

The only solution to the Canada Post conundrum is to pressure the Canadian government into selling the corporation to a private owner. At the very least, the Canadian government should open up the market to allow more private options to the consumer. This would only happen through a minimizing of the size of Canada Post’s responsibilities, and the size of the business as a whole. However, we should seek for the Canadian government to abolish Canada Post. The Canadian consumer would be better serviced in the postal industry by a series of privately owned corporations, competing in a free market without government intervention.

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3 thoughts on “The Incompetence of the Canada Post Corporation”

  1. It is ironic that Alexander Robak writes about the “incompetence” of Canada Post when it is clear he is a truly incompetent reporter. His article is crammed full of inaccuracies, misinformation and bald lies. Did he actually research the facts on which he rests his opinion of the incompetence of Canada Post?
    He states that postal strikes are not uncommon in the collective bargaining process between Canada Post and CUPW. The fact is the last postal strike was a combination of strike and lock-out in 2011. The current dispute is over the 3rd CBA since then. Prior to 2011 the previous strike was in 1997. Fourteen years and four contracts without a strike.
    He talks about taxpayer money supporting Canada Post. Another falsehood. In fact Canada Post has generated profits in each of the last 18 years except 2011 and even then did not require government assistance to cover its deficit. Canada Post has generated more than $11 billion dollars in dividends and taxes for the government.
    He is correct that a major portion of Canada Post’s current revenues are generated not in the monopoly area of first class mail but in the competitive sector of parcels and packages. Canada Post competes head to head with FedEx, UPS, CanPar and even its own company of Purolator and consistently out performs them all in terms of reliability efficiency and price.
    It is too bad Robak’s editor did not insist on rigorous fact checking before allowing this drivel to be published.

    • The point of the article is that Canada Post would not exist if it were not for the fact that it is itself a subsidiary of the federal government. It is only competitive due to the fact that it is able to sponge tax dollars from the government. We are paying for the funding that allows the company to exist through tax dollars, as well as for their services on an individual level. Aside from that, the three large-scale strikes that Canada Post has gone through in the past 21 years show that even through government management of a corporation, incompetency is a normality.

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