Every household to get prepaid blank postcard courtesy of Canada Post

In an effort to encourage Canadians to keep in touch during the pandemic, Canada Post is sending every household a free postcard to mail to a loved one.

13.5 million postcards going out to households across country

While traditional letter mail has been in decline for more than a decade, the pandemic may have left people wanting to reach out in a more personal way, and that's where Canada Post's prepaid postcard comes in, says spokesperson Sylvie Lapointe. The Crown corporation is sending one to every household beginning Monday. (Michael Wilson/CBC)

In an effort to encourage Canadians to keep in touch during the pandemic, Canada Post is sending every household a free postcard to mail to a loved one.

Starting Monday,13.5 million postage-paid postcards will begin arriving at every residential address across the country. 

"I think that everyone has missed weddings and funerals and birthday celebrations, and we've all missed people and loved ones across the country," said Sylvie Lapointe, a spokesperson with Canada Post in Ottawa.

A postcard is one way to tell people they're on your mind, she said.

The Canada Post Write Here Write Now campaign aims to help Canadians connect through letter writing.

Each household will receive one of six designs, including messages such as "Wishing I were there/Tu me manques" and "Sending smiles/Je t'embrasse." 

The blank postcards have a series of messages on the front and can be mailed anywhere in Canada for free. (Canada Post)

People can drop the postcards off in any community mailbox or post office and address them to anywhere in Canada.

"Meaningful connection is vital for our emotional health, sense of community and overall well-being," said Doug Ettinger, president and CEO of Canada Post, in a news release. 

"Canada Post wants everyone to stay safe but also stay in touch with the people who matter to them."

Increase in people reaching out

The campaign comes at a time when traditional letter mail has been in steep decline.

In its 2019 report, the Crown corporation said the number of letters and paper bills sent to people's homes fell by 55 per cent since 2006. Yet, spokesperson Lapointe believes the pandemic likely made a dent in that decline, especially over the holiday season.

Two of the six postcard designs being sent out to Canadians. 'Meaningful connection is vital for our emotional health,' says Doug Ettinger, president and CEO of Canada Post. (Canada Post)

"We've seen an increase in the past year in people needing, wanting to reach out to each other," she said. "Over Christmas time, we saw the red and the green envelopes going through our operations in high volume."

The global pandemic has posed major challenges to Canada Post but also resulted in more parcel mail as limits on in-person shopping drove consumers online. However, Canada Post said that explosion in home parcel deliveries was not enough to offset revenue losses caused by a drop in letter mail and extra operational-safety costs.

With the cost of a single stamp sitting at $1.07 —  or $0.92 if purchased in a booklet — Canada Post's free postcard endeavour could also come with a hefty price tag.

Lapointe said she didn't know the total cost of the postcard campaign but that the infrastructure is already in place to deliver them.

With files from CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning and Bill Sanderson

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?