Letter: Canada Post union rep’s plea to stop major budget cuts

Canada Post taxes and dividends resulted in $1.5 billion going into the coffers of the Canadian government.

To the Editor:

Major cuts to the Canada Post Corporation were announced last week by the Harper government.

These cuts will result in the loss of home delivery to over five million Canadians, and result in the loss of anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 good paying jobs.

The justification for these cuts, given repeatedly, is the Conference Board of Canada report showing Canada Post losing $1 billion by the year 2020.

Lets be clear: Canada Post is a profitable company. In 17 of the last 18 years, Canada Post has shown an average profit of $139 million.

These profits resulted in taxes and dividends of $1.5 billion going into the coffers of the Canadian government. This was $1.5 billion in taxes that the citizens of this country did not have to pay.

In fact, the only year in those two decades that Canada Post did not show a significant profit was 2011—the year our new chief executive officer (Deepak Chopra) was hired and decided to lock out the workers, resulting in the first labour disruption at Canada Post in many years. Of course, this did not stop Mr. Chopra from paying out over $30 million in management bonuses for a job well done.

Does Canada Post need to evolve? Of course. But these drastic wholesale changes are not the result of any financial consideration grounded in reality but rather are ideologically driven by a Conservative government determined that all government is bad, and all government entities are better in private hands.

This government, more and more going rogue on the Canadian public, cynically waited until parliament had recessed to make this announcement, knowing full well what the public reaction to these unnecessary cuts would be.

This government is determined to make sure that all the profits that this company will generate, as the Internet and parcel delivery component of our business explodes, are transferred to their cronies for all time going forward, the elimination of home delivery is just one more step in this direction.

Canadians built Canada Post as a public service, not as a business to be transferred into private pockets at the taxpayers’ expense.

The cuts proposed at Canada Post will affect the most vulnerable, the seniors and the disabled in a disproportionate way. Is that what we as Canadians want?

Mr. Harper showed that he knows the answer to that question by the way his government made this announcement.

Canada Post belongs to all Canadians, it is not Mr. Harper’s nor Mr. Chopra’s play thing, to be passed on to their corporate buddies for pennies on the dollar.

If you believe in the legacy of this public institution, if you believe that a profitable and public post office matters, I urge you to contact your MP and tell Mr. Harper: “Hands off our post office!”

Dawn Klappe, president,

CUPW Local 760


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