EDITORIAL: Will many notice mail disruption?

Social service payments won't be interrupted but bills and other important documents could be held up

Short of some last-minute scrambling by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Canada Post is expected to follow through on its notice of locking out letter carriers and other support staff Friday,

If that isn’t happening today, hurray. But the whole scenario begs the question, will many of us notice the difference in a meaningful way?

The move to online technology for such regular activities as banking and other financial transactions has been like a tidal wave in recent years, with only members of our older generations and the odd younger Luddite choosing not to utilize this form of commerce in some way or another.

But not every type of transaction relies on an online transfer of funds, or on couriers to deliver packages ordered online, for example.

Canada Post is still used by municipalities to send out property tax notices, and many people continue to receive their B.C. Hydro bill, Capital Regional District water bill and credit card statements in print, just to name a few.

For those people who send birthday cards, or greeting cards of any kind, couriers are most often not the delivery method of choice.

And for any current or former post-secondary student who has had to deal with scholarship or student loan issues, not having the ability to send signed documents in the mail can be a real challenge.

Courier companies were rubbing their hands together with glee this week as talk of the lockout became front-page news. In fact, Canada Post itself has attempted to make inroads into the courier business over the years as it sought to replace the revenue lost to online technologies.

Residents certainly won’t miss getting those items they consider to be junk mail in their mailbox. But by and large we haven’t yet signed the kiss of death for this Crown corporation, despite the belief of some that it will soon go the way of the Pony Express.

We’re glad that social service payment deliveries will not be interrupted. But that’s not the only sign that Canada Post still serves a valuable function. Not having it will definitely create a disruption.

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