EDITORIAL: Mailbox plan financial reality

Canada Post's plan to move towards large community mailboxes a tricky met with consternation.

Canada Post’s plan to replace home delivery in certain areas with large community mailboxes has been met with much consternation from West Shore residents, especially those with mobility issues.

Householders in Langford, primarily, and Colwood are looking at the most drastic changeover in our area, and they have every right to complain about the switch.

But one thing people tend to forget is Canada Post is a corporation, and like any other private business, they need consistent revenue to remain solvent. The precipitous drop in Canada Post’s income in recent years, prompted by the movement en masse by individuals and businesses to use electronic methods of communicating, has meant it has had to look for other revenue sources.

It has provided customers with a viable option for courier service, but its core business, letter mail, has taken a nosedive.

We’re not surprised that Canada Post has taken the step of batching more work for its employees at street level. They had to do something to stop the bleeding of red ink.

But is it our responsibility to keep paying more and more for the services provided by this 150-year-old entity? We don’t relish paying more than a dollar per stamp for those times when we have to send communications – like Christmas cards – by “snail mail.”

We acknowledge the challenges faced by those who might physically have a more difficult time collecting their mail. But the reality is, more people than ever use electronic means to receive and pay bills and engage in other transactions.

Canada Post’s situation parallels that of B.C. Ferries: charging more for its services has seen less people use those services, which leads to the Catch 22 of having to increase fares more.

The mail corporation has to drastically change the way it operates. For those who hate change, that can only lead to disappointment.

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