As a newspaper, we are quite sympathetic to the challenges faced by Canada Post as they weather the disruption caused by the Internet.
Mail volumes are down, as people turn to online methods of communication, whether to stay in touch with family or friends or to conduct business like receiving or paying bills.
Still, there is a growing industry in package delivery, and judging from our mailboxes, there is no shortage of ad mail being generated or delivered.
Apparently, however, it is not enough to keep Canada Post in the black.
The Crown corporation announced this week that door-to-door home delivery will be phased out in urban areas, to be replaced by communal mailboxes a lot like the ones that have sprouted in new subdivisions for more than a decade. In fact, Canada Post estimates that two-thirds of Canadians won’t notice any difference, since they already get their mail through a community box.
While there are definite advantages to the single drop-off point, there are downsides, too. Seniors and others used to home delivery will have to make an adjustment that will be more difficult in some cases —and in some neighbourhoods — than we believe Canada Post is prepared for.
Along with the reduced delivery, Canada Post will increase the cost of a first-class stamp by a significant amount, up to $1.
Now, to be honest, the fact that you can sit in Vancouver, scrawl the name of a Halifax resident on a piece of paper, and have it delivered a few days later for less than the price of a cup of coffee is pretty miraculous.
And psssst — here in Brandon, $1 will also get you a daily dose of award-winning local news and photography.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 14, 2013