Thursday, December 12, 2013

The end of mailman / dog jokes

Canada Post has decided that walking up to people's houses to deliver letters is a waste of time.  They are getting rid of that service entirely in light of the massive plunge in mail volume due to the internet and are going to deliver to mailboxes on street corners instead to save money.  They are also going to ramp up the cost of delivering letters to a dollar.  Many people are up in arms about this for a variety of reasons both fiscal and humanitarian but I have not yet seen a single argument that makes any sense.

The first argument that seems to be creeping up is that the elderly and disabled people will be unfairly inconvenienced by this change.  I find that very unconvincing since people with mobility issues currently have to deal with getting to a mailbox on all rural routes, in many suburban routes, and in fact for 66% of Canada Post's delivery service area.  It isn't ideal but clearly people figure out a way to get it done.  People are also upset that workers will be fired and good jobs will be lost but since all job cuts will be handled through attrition this holds no water.  There are endless choruses of "Think of the families!" which is both nonsensical and irritating - should be we unworried about single people?

There is also outrage over the cost of a dollar to send a letter.  Quite frankly the idea that a company will pick up a letter from a box near me, fly it across the entire country, and deliver it to someone in a far away city for a single dollar is absolutely astounding to me.  How much service can you possibly expect for such a miniscule cost?  There is also an interesting demand that Canada Post continue the money losing home delivery and make up the cost by becoming a bank as well as a delivery service.  I don't have any particular objection to post offices offering small scale bank services but I can't see why any new revenue generated from such banking should be used to continue to pay people to carry letters right to each person's door.

The age in which a person walks to your house to give you a letter is over, done.  Such information can almost always be sent via the tubes of the internet much more efficiently and cheaply and flying chunks of dead tree around the world as the standard of communication is heaving its last dying breaths.  It is time we moved on and thankfully Canada Post is moving with us instead of just following tradition and trying to foist the cost of doing so onto the public.


  1. If you don't want pieces of dead trees flying around the country for your daughter's birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc, you'd better get her her own email account. Oh, and it's hard to send handmade gifts that way. We still need good, fast mail delivery.

  2. Well, Elli does have her own gmail account already. Wendy reserved it before she was born. We do need mail delivery but we don't need a system that is built around the assumption that everything is communicated that way.