Federal government puts rural postal service at risk



    OTTAWA, Nov. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Rural postal service is at risk if the
federal government proceeds with its bill to partially deregulate Canada Post
according to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).
    On October 29th, the government introduced Bill C-14, an Act to amend the
Canada Post Corporation Act. If passed, this bill would partially deregulate
Canada Post by removing international letters from Canada Post's exclusive
privilege to collect, transmit and deliver letters. Second reading began on
November 20th and could continue this week.
    The government says Bill C-14 is targeted to a specific issue, which is
enhancing competition in the outbound international mail business.
    "The government tends to side-step the fact that Bill C-14 is a move
towards deregulation," said Deborah Bourque, National President of CUPW. "The
bill erodes a fundamental feature of public postal service - the exclusive
privilege."
    Canada Post has an exclusive privilege, under law, to collect, transmit
and deliver letters - including international letters - in order to finance
the post office's universal service obligation.
    "The exclusive privilege is the magic that makes the post office work,"
said Bourque.
    Canada Post says international mailers already siphon off $60 to
$80 million per year in business and that this business is growing. If this
growth continues, the corporation's letter revenue will plummet as will its
ability to provide service at affordable rates, especially in the rural and
remote parts of the country that are the most costly to serve.
    CUPW is calling on all members of Parliament to take a second look at the
bill and to oppose it in the vote on second reading.




For further information:

For further information: Richard McGrath, Communications Specialist,
Canadian Union of Postal Worker, (613) 222-3952 (cell),
rmcgrath@cupw-sttp.org


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