It’s no secret that Canadians’ shift away from letters and cards to electronic methods of staying in touch has been tough on Canada Post. In the past five years alone, mail volumes have fallen almost 20 per cent, the Crown corporation says.
Its latest effort at shoring up revenue has all the subtlety of a pit bull sinking its teeth into a letter-carrier’s shoes. Canada Post will start charging $200 for every new home to cover the cost of installing community mailboxes, effective Jan. 1.
The fee is just one more cost that erodes the affordability of housing, warns the president of the Canadian Home Builders Association.
Canadians have seen a decades-long decline in the level of postal service. Door-to-door delivery gave way to the ubiquitous group mailboxes more than two decades ago in newer communities; now builders and their customers are being asked to pay a one-time $200 fee per address.
“This levy will be paid by the new homebuyer,” writes home-builders’ president Ron Olson in a letter we assume was mailed, not faxed or emailed, to Denis Lebel, the minister responsible for Canada Post. “As a result, new home buyers are not only having to accept a lower standard of mail service … they are now being required to subsidize this lower standard of service.”
We’re not unsympathetic to Canada Post’s challenges, but it appears that common sense has gotten lost in the mail.
Canada Post can’t continue to water down its service and expect new homebuyers to pay extra for it. This is one idea that should be marked “Return to sender.”
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