Trudeau tracker: Has the prime minister kept his promise on home mail delivery?

When the Conservative government announced it was going to put an end door-to-door mail delivery in 2013, it hand-delivered a campaign opportunity to the Liberals. Has the Trudeau government carried through on its promise to restore it all the way to the door?

Liberal campaign promise to restore home mail delivery is 'in the mail'

The Liberals have halted a plan, announced in 2013, to replace door-to-door mail delivery with more community mailboxes like these. A promise to restore delivery to 830,000 addresses already converted to the new boxes is awaiting a complete review of Canada Post. (CBC)

This is the eighth segment of a regular series on The National tracking the Liberal government's performance on its campaign promises.

When the Conservative government announced it was going to put an end door-to-door mail delivery in 2013, it hand-delivered a campaign opportunity to the Liberal party.

With fewer people mailing letters, Canada Post was in a difficult situation. 

The decline in the volume of mail requiring delivery over the last decade translates into roughly $1 billion less revenue. The downward trend is expected to continue.

In order to address these losses, Canada Post under the previous Conservative government introduced a five-point cost-saving plan that outlined a new approach to pricing, a push to franchise post offices, measures to streamline operations and measures to address labour costs.

Perhaps the most controversial element was the end to door-to-door delivery (where it was still in place) and the creation of new community mailboxes for five million Canadian addresses, with projected savings of $500 million a year by 2019. 

The creation of community mailboxes was not well received by the public across Canada. This opinion was reflected in a publicity stunt by Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, a former Liberal member of Parliament, who demolished a community mailbox foundation in protest.

The Liberals condemned the Conservative decision to end the service, which was reflected in their campaign platform: "By ending door-to-door mail delivery, Stephen Harper is asking Canadians to pay more for less service. That is unacceptable. We will stop Stephen Harper's plan to end door-to-door mail delivery in Canada and undertake a new review of Canada Post to make sure that it provides high-quality service at a reasonable price to Canadians, no matter where they live."

Justin Trudeau's victory in October put an end to the five-point plan outlined under the Conservatives, but left 860,000 Canadians who had already been converted to community mailboxes wondering when the Liberals would uphold their campaign promise.

Ongoing review

Moving forward, the government has promised a complete review of Canada Post to determine next steps.

"We pledge to work with municipalities who have been affected and with Canadians who expect better in terms of service from their governments to move forward on solutions to restore home delivery," said Trudeau.

The review remains ongoing, and while it is, the Liberal promise to save home delivery is "in the mail."


  • This story has been edited to make it clear that the $1 billion of losses over the last ten years refers to lost revenue from declining letter mail volume. It is not an overall loss figure for Canada Post Corporation.
    Apr 28, 2016 9:38 AM ET

with files from Chris Hall