Canada Post should become a social welfare program

Canada Post is on strike again. Who cares? There is an entire invisible economy that is dependent on the postal system—small business like me.

To the editor:

Canada Post is on strike again.

Who cares? There are other options for big business like FedEx and UPS. Invoices and bills go online.

There is an entire invisible economy that is dependent on the postal system—small business like me.

There are online sellers, mail order companies and millions of people working from home selling a huge volume of items at low prices who require affordable shipping options.

And what does that demographic look like?

They are middle aged, with children, stretched budgets putting in long hours in home-based businesses to make endz meet. They are in the post recession economy with high credit card debt, big mortgages and children with braces.

Will there be a subsidy for these small businesses for the loss of revenue because of the interruption in the postal services? Probably not because, as I said, this segment of economy is invisible, retains very little political power and frankly no one cares. There is no glamour, no sensationalism, no story.

Already besieged by complaints from Canadian customers that have to pay $12 to ship a bubble envelope that they can ship anywhere in the US, including Hawaii, for $4, we are saddled with the higher Canadian dollar plus the world’s most complex tax structure HST, GST, BST.

In Canada, if I purchase a $10 item on eBay from an American seller, I enjoy $10 shipping, and no tax. If I purchase the same item from a Canadian seller I pay $15 shipping plus HST.

I am in a country not at war, I have reasonably clean air and I enjoy free health care, right?

Grocery stores that formerly paid fair wages have rid themselves of the high paid staff and, as with most retailers across the country, have replaced their workforce with part-time, casual, no benefits, lower wage staff.

Everytime you purchase a $5 T-shirt at a retailer this year remember your $5 has to cover the manufacture, distribution and materials of that shirt. How much do you think goes to the worker that made it? We all want it cheaper, we all want more left over for toys, or better food, or better colleges, or more, more, more.

So, as a competitive business in a global marketplace without government cash, Canada Post would have failed years ago based on its current structure. Is it necessary as a social program? Maybe.

Not one to post complaints without solutions I say let’s funnel the profits and uncollected taxes from grow-op incomes into the postal service as a stimulus package for small business—grow-ops have no business licenses, no business insurance, no benefits for workers, higher wages because they pay cash, no taxes on income—no mailing required.

Louise Kneller,

West Kelowna


Kelowna Capital News