Sunday December 11, 2016
Does Canada Post have to reinvent itself to survive?
Just in time for the holidays, Canada Post is looking to re-make itself before electronic media muscles it aside. Posties in Finland cut lawns, in the U.S. they deliver groceries, in Japan it's senior support. Is this the future for Canada Post?
More from this episode:
- The post office has outlived its usefulness: Checkup caller
- 'The internet is our partner': A veteran mail carrier on the future of Canada Post
'Tis the season, more than any other, that we think about the post office.
Whether you're lining up to mail Grandma her present, waiting anxiously for those online purchases to arrive, sending out Christmas cards, or even mailing your wish list to the North Pole ( postal code H0H 0H0), it's the busiest time of year at the post office.
But during the rest of the year, do you still use Canada Post?
It was once a vital institution, essential to communication and helping build the nation. But who sends letters anymore? Canada Post's volume of letters and junk mail is shrinking rapidly. When Canada Post and its union were on the brink of labour disruption this summer, many asked, "Is Canada Post really essential anymore?"
A bigger question: with so many of us texting and communicating online, can Canada Post survive in the digital era? Some say it's time to privatize, but Canada Post sees a future in its parcel service as more and more of us shop online. That's why its opening outlets with changing rooms and 24/7 self-service parcel kiosks.
The postal workers union thinks postal banking should be a thing. A task force recently recommended Canada Post not only deliver medical marijuana, it could also offer storefront sales of weed. In Finland, posties will mow your lawn. In the U.S., they'll deliver your groceries. In Japan and France, postal carriers are checking in on seniors.
Our question: Does Canada Post have to reinvent itself in order to survive?
Mike Palecek, President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Twitter: @Mike_Palecek @cupw
Carla Lipsig Mumme, Professor of Work and Labour Studies, York University and lead researcher of Adapting Canadian Work to Respond to Climate Change
Ron Rousseau, Postal worker in Carcross, Yukon and advocate for services for Indigenous and Northern communities.
Robert Campbell, President and vice-chancellor of Mount Allison University and author of two books on contemporary postal systems.
- Change rooms and vending machines: Canada Post opens 'concept store' in Vancouver
- Canada Post's relationship with its workers is blighted by 'underlying toxicity'
- Canada Post not essential but not irrelevant, say experts
- Writer of heartbreaking 1993 Dear Santa letter sought by former mailman
- Canadian company InPost ready to challenge Canada Post for package mail (Jul. 15, 2016)
- Pay equity cases: Determining inequity can be 'enormously complex' (Sep. 1, 2016)
Globe and Mail
- Consumers love free shipping, but small businesses scramble to keep up
- Canada Post embracing e-commerce with modern pickup centres
- Why both sides in the Canada Post dispute are in bad positions (Jul. 5, 2016)
- Can Canada Post survive the digital era?
- Postal workers ratify agreement reached last summer with Canada Post
- Could marijuana sales save Canada Post in digital age?
- EBay urges Canadian businesses to write Trudeau over Canada Post dispute (Aug. 29, 2016)
- Canada Post segment records $60 million loss before tax in third quarter (Nov. 25, 2016)
- A drive-thru, a fitting room and self-serve kiosks: with innovative store, Canada Post redefines convenience (Oct. 29, 2015)