The Government of Canada announced on Monday, April 21, that it will be conducting a strategic review of Canada Post Corporation. The review will, in part, determine how the Crown corporation should adapt to stay relevant, and whether increased competition would have a positive impact for the market.
“We are conducting a strategic review of Canada Post to make sure this public institution has the right tools and means to fulfil its mandate in the future,” said the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister responsible for Canada Post. “In the changing business context and with new challenges ahead, we want to act now to make sure it continues to fulfil its mandate: delivering essential, universal services every day to Canadians, while remaining financially self-sustaining.”
The review is due in December 2008, and will be guided by four principles, including public policy obligations, financial performance, and that Canada Post will remain a Crown corporation.
The independent advisory panel responsible for the review includes Dr. Robert Campbell, president and vice-chancellor of Mount Allison University; Nicole Beaudoin, president and CEO of the Quebec Business Women’s Network Inc.; and Daniel Bader, Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs for the Province of Alberta.
With many publishers across Canada dependent on Canada Post for delivery of their newspapers, the Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) has pushed for a review of Canada Post’s operations for several years.
“We have lobbied long and hard for this review and we will continue to act as an intermediary on key issues for our publishers,” said CCNA Chief Executive Officer John Hinds.
Canada Post has 70,000 employees and became a Crown corporation in 1981, following the former government body in charge of mail delivery, the Post Office Department of Canada. Each year the company processes an estimated 11 billion pieces of mail, to 6,600 post offices, and has paid over $400 million in dividends to the Government of Canada since 1998.
Canada Post CEO Moya Greene was quoted in a Globe and Mail interview as saying that “profitability is sputtering” for the company, and the business is getting more difficult because of outdated equipment. “Some of our equipment is five generations old. Some of the equipment we use in the [Mississauga, Ontario] Gateway plant is in the U.S. postal museum – one of the parcel sorters, for example.”
The public is invited to provide comments for the review panel. To find out more, visit www.cpcstrategicreview.gc.ca.