CUPW misrepresenting facts in opposition to Bill C-14

    OTTAWA, Dec. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Union of Postal Workers
(CUPW) is working overtime to oppose the passage of Bill C-14 (an Act to Amend
the Canada Post Corporation Act) by misrepresenting facts and providing
inaccurate information about an international mail industry that has competed
fairly and contributed significantly to the Canadian economy for more than 20
years. Bill C-14 is but one sentence that speaks only to the delivery of mail
from Canada to a final destination outside of Canada. It has absolutely
nothing to do with the delivery of domestic mail, which is clearly a part of
Canada Post's exclusive privilege and does nothing to, nor is it intended to
diminish this exclusive privilege.
    "CUPW is meeting with Members of Parliament and speaking to community
newspapers across the country, providing them with inaccurate information
about our industry and what this important legislative amendment will do",
says Gwyneth Howell, Executive Director of the Canadian International Mail
Association (CIMA). "It is unfortunate and quite disconcerting that CUPW
representatives are speaking with such authority about the international mail
industry when they have never once reached out to us to discuss their newfound
concerns, ask what we do, how we do it or why Canada Post acknowledged and
legitimized this industry for more than 20 years. CUPW has been totally silent
on this issue until just recently. If what we are doing is so detrimental to
them and the country, why haven't we heard complaints from them over the past
twenty years", added Howell.
    CIMA believes it is critical for all Canadians to understand the facts
before listening to CUPW's rhetoric.

    - CUPW claims that Bill C-14 will allow international mail companies to
      send mail from Canada to another country and then back to Canada for
      final delivery. This is completely false. Such a practice is in
      contravention of the exclusive privilege provisions of the Canada Post
      Corporation Act and any companies engaged in such activity should be
      dealt with accordingly. The international mail industry does not do
    - CUPW and Canada Post claim that Canada Post has always had exclusive
      privilege for the delivery of both domestic and international mail and
      that anyone involved in international mailing is engaged in illegal
      activity. This is a blatant misrepresentation. It was only a few years
      ago in 2004 that Canada Post initiated legal proceedings to broaden the
      exclusive privilege provisions to include both domestic and
      international mailing. While Canada Post was successful, the court's
      job was only to interpret the words - not the intent - of the
      legislation put before it. No evidence of past practice or historical
      industry information was requested or accepted by the courts.
    - The reality is that Canada Post, for many years, never believed and did
      not operate as if it had an exclusive privilege over outbound mail. In
      a 1988 Canada Post publication (MANAGER, Vol. 3, No. 4 Apr./May 1988),
      Canada Post stated, "Outbound mail is not protected by exclusive
      privilege, which leaves this lucrative business open to a new threat -
      aggressive competition from international mail companies." It was this
      unequivocal position from our own Postal Authority that legitimized
      this industry and led to the growth of this market by hundreds of small
      businesses involved in the preparation, design and delivery of letter
      mail in Canada to foreign destinations. Common sense and fairness is
      what Bill C-14 is about; nothing more.
    - CUPW and Canada Post claim that international mailers "siphon" off
      $50-80 million in revenue a year from Canada Post and as a result,
      universal postal service and rural mail service are being diminished.
      This is simply not true. You can't lose revenue that you never had and
      moreover, which you actually never thought you should have. If this
      industry is eliminated, CUPW and Canada Post believe this newfound
      revenue will revert directly to Canada Post. This is false. Most of the
      revenue generated by these small businesses will be lost forever. If
      Bill C-14 is not passed, many of these businesses will indeed be forced
      to shut down their operations but they will leave Canada and set up in
      a jurisdiction that welcomes such competition. In fact, this is already
      happening. This revenue is leaving Canada, jobs have been lost and no
      one is benefiting.
    - The companies that make up the international mail industry support
      universal postal service, but if they are eliminated, all Canadians
      will be negatively impacted. Most of these companies do business with
      Canada Post domestically, generating tens of millions of dollars of
      revenue for Canada Post that supports universal postal service. If Bill
      C-14 is not passed, these businesses will be shut down and the revenue
      stream that has been flowing to Canada Post from these companies will
      be lost.
    - CUPW claims that rural mail service is being impacted because of the
      activities of the international mail industry. There is not true. CUPW
      was asked by the House of Commons Transport Committee on March 26,
      2007, if there has been any decrease in CUPW membership as a result of
      international mail competition. Deborah Bourque, CUPW's national
      president stated, "No, I couldn't say there's been a decrease in our
      membership because of the competition." CUPW has not lost jobs as a
      result of this 20+ year old competitive industry. Yet, thousands of
      hard working Canadians will clearly be out of work if this legislation
      is not passed. Furthermore, Canada Post has recognized twelve straight
      years of profit, all during a time when international mail companies
      have been in operation.

    "This industry is fighting for its life", commented Barry Sikora, CIMA
member and President of Classic Impressions, a specialty printing company in
British Columbia. "How could it be the intent of Parliament, our country's
lawmakers, to allow small businesses like mine to enter the market, build our
businesses, invest in the economy, hire employees, pay taxes - all with the
acceptance of Canada Post - only to have Canada Post now say, thanks for
building this market but we have exclusive privilege, you must close down your
businesses. That's just not right", added Sikora.
    That is why the Government and the majority of Opposition MPs support
Bill C-14 and why it should be passed by Parliament as quickly as possible -
so common sense and fairness can prevail and allow this decades old industry
to continue providing competitive, cost-effective international mailing
solutions to their customers and to this country.

For further information:

For further information: or to request an interview: Gwyneth Howell,
CIMA, (647) 241-3272; Evan Zelikovitz, APCO Worldwide, (613) 786-7606

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