Postal union circulating petition to draw attention to unpublicized campaign by Harper Conservatives.
Ottawa (10 Nov. 2009) - Once again a federal Conservative government appears to be trying to shut down rural post offices — in keeping with its pro-privatization ideology.
Twenty years ago the Mulroney government attempted to close all rural post offices across Canada and turn rural postal services over to small business operators like store owners, service stations and grain elevators.
It was stopped by a massive outcry from rural Canada, led by the postal unions and by lobby groups such as Rural Dignity of Canada. [Previous report].
Subsequently, a moratorium on closures was imposed by the Liberal government, although it too had begun to weaken in its zeal for rural post offices by the time it left office.
Now, the Harper administration is apparently pursuing quietly behind the scenes what the Mulroney government could not accomplish in the open.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is circulating a petition to MPs that says the Harper administration is permitting the closure of public post offices in rural and small town Canada in spite of the moratorium.
It says closures are happening in some communities where residents have been given a month's notice by Canada Post.
The union's petition adds:
"Whereas a month is an inadequate amount of time for a whole community to discuss a closure and explore options (and) whereas public post offices connect communities throughout this vast land, helping us to overcome differences and distances (and) public post offices play a key role in our social and economic life by providing the infrastructure that healthy communities need to thrive and businesses need to grow, we call on the Government of Canada to instruct Canada Post to maintain and improve its network of public post offices and to consult with the public, their elected representatives, postal unions and other major stakeholders to develop a uniform and democratic process for making changes to this network."
The petition is available online and can be downloaded at the link provided below.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
• Petition to the House of Commons (concerning rural post offices in Canada)
• Privatization again threatens Canada's rural post offices
• NUPGE concerned postal review will lead to deregulation