Conservative Cheryl Gallant's claim she'll save Canada Post raises ire of postal workers
Canadian Union of Postal Workers considers legal action over 'deceptive' use of its logo
A curious election ad placed in a local newspaper by Conservative candidate Cheryl Gallant has raised the ire of postal workers, who say it contains "a series of falsehoods," not to mention their union's logo.
Gallant, who voted with her party to defeat an NDP motion to maintain door-to-door delivery, calls on voters in the Ontario riding of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke to re-elect her as the "only" way to save Canada Post.
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The ad appearing in the North Renfrew Times on Oct.14 features the "Save Canada Post" logo used by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers in their campaign against what they say are Conservative-backed cuts to postal service.
"I guess we're doing something right if Conservatives are stealing our logo," said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, in a written statement on Thursday.
"But it's just plain wrong for the people who are cutting the service to use our campaign logo to fuel their steady stream of lies about it."
Gallant's ad makes the following claims regarding Canada Post:
- No change to rural, commercial or parcel delivery.
- No job losses.
- Special accommodation for seniors.
- Special accommodation for persons with mobility issues.
- Will keep Canada Post as a Crown Corporation.
- Paid for without raising taxes.
- Paid for without increasing the deficit.
- Continued postal services for everyone
"Only by voting for Cheryl Gallant will you save Canada Post," the ad claims.
Gallant's constituency office did not return CBC's call requesting an interview with her, nor did the Conservative Party issue a comment when asked for reaction to its candidate's ad.
'Misleading' and 'deceptive'
Reached in his office on Thursday afternoon, Palecek told CBC News the union will be filing an official complaint.
"The fact that she's taken our logo, which we developed, and put it in her own advertising campaign, is misleading."
"We're filing a complaint with Elections Canada regarding this to make sure they know that we haven't authorized this," said Palecek.
"This isn't a donation from us to the Conservative Party and it shouldn't be construed that way."
In 2013, Canada Post announced it would phase out door-to-door mail delivery and cut up to 8,000 jobs, mainly through attrition. The corporation cited declining mail volume, saying there were nearly 1.2 billion fewer pieces of mail in 2013 than in 2006.
The Crown corporation did not back down on its controversial plan to scrap home mail delivery despite a pre-tax profit of $24 million for the first quarter of 2015.
Unionized workers with Canada Post have been on a cross-country campaign to save home mail delivery by asking voters to defeat the Conservative government led by Stephen Harper.
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt has said on numerous occasions that her government supported Canada Post's plan.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has promised that he would restore door-to-door delivery.
Palecek told CBC News he was "dumbstruck" to see the ad ahead of an all-candidates meeting on cuts to the postal service, a town hall he said Gallant did not attend.
He said the union has tried to reach Gallant, but her office has not returned their calls.
The union is also considering taking legal action to stop "the deceptive" use of its logo.
With files from CBC's Stu Mills