With end to home delivery, Canada postman won’t ring even once

Bloomberg NewsDecember 12, 2013 

OTTAWA — Canada’s postal service will scrap door-to-door mail delivery during the next five years and cut as many as 8,000 jobs to offset declining mail volume.

The Ottawa-based agency is also raising the price of stamps by as much as 59 percent next year, Canada Post said Wednesday in a statement that outlined steps to save at least $660 million a year.

“With the increasing use of digital communication and the historic decline of letter-mail volumes, Canada Post has begun to post significant financial losses,” the postal service said. “If left unchecked, continued losses would soon jeopardize its financial self-sufficiency and become a significant burden on taxpayers.”

Canada is joining countries such as the U.S. and Britain in attempting to cut the cost of government-run postal services amid declining volumes of letter mail. Canada Post will stop delivering mail directly to individual households, replacing the service with community mailboxes. About a third of Canadian households currently have home delivery, it said, adding the change won’t affect households using rural mailboxes.

The Canadian government supports Canada Post’s efforts to operate on a “self-sustaining basis,” said Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, to whom the agency reports. “In today’s digital age, Canadians are sending less mail than ever,” she said in a statement.

Canada Post will cut between 6,000 and 8,000 jobs, or almost 12 percent of its staff, mainly through attrition. The agency will return to “financial sustainability” by 2019, it said. Canada Post employed about 68,000 people at the end of last year, the agency said in a financial report for the three months ended Sept. 28.

The cost of a single stamp for mail delivery in Canada will rise to $1 Canadian from the current 63 cents. Such stamps bought in rolls or booklets will cost 85 cents each.

The U.S. Postal Service, which is required by law to deliver mail six days a week to every address in the country, is working to convert commercial customers such as shopping malls to centralized delivery, said Sue Brennan, a service spokeswoman.

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