Video: The chief executive at Canada Post was on the hot seat in Ottawa, facing lawmakers who want answers about the cuts announced last week. Vassy Kapelos reports.
TORONTO – A new survey found that Canadians are generally not in favour of service changes at Canada Post.
The Angus Reid survey released to Global News found that, overall, 58 per cent of Canadians surveyed did not support the changes while 38 per cent said the favoured the end of door-to-door service in urban changes.
Four per cent said they had no opinion or did not know if they favoured or opposed the cuts.
According to the findings, 73 per cent who still receive door-to-door mail delivery were opposed to the service, while 59 per cent of Canadians who are least affected by the changes support the elimination of door-to-door mail delivery.
On Dec. 11, Canada Post said it would phase out home delivery in urban centres within the next five years.
The cuts mean that one-third of Canadians who currently still receive mail at their door will have the service replaced by community mailboxes and that the new business plan will result in an elimination of 6,000 to 8,000 positions.
Angus Reid surveyed more than 1,000 Canadian adults on December 13; two days after Canada Post announced its service changes.
A closer look
The province of Alberta saw the highest number of people in favour of ending door-to-door mail delivery service in urban areas.
Over 49 per cent of Albertans were in favour, followed by 46 per cent from Saskatchewan and Manitoba and then Ontario at 40 per cent.
Residents of Quebec were the most opposed to the changes; with 68 per cent saying they don’t support the cuts. British Columbia followed with 58 per cent, followed closely by 57 per cent of those polled in Ontario.
According to Angus Reid, Canadians who were polled fell generally into three main categories.
Forty-eight per cent said they believe Canada Post provides an essential service while 35 per cent said they were “cautiously concerned” about the changes.
Of the 35 per cent who said they were “cautiously concerned,” more than half said while they are in favour of ending door-to-door delivery, they are worried about how the changes will be implemented.
Only 17 per cent of those polled said they were are unaffected or unconcerned about the changes.
Support for the changes appears to be highest among Canadians who voted Conservative in the 2011 election.
More than half (53 per cent) who voted for the Harper government said they support the phasing out of door-to-door delivery in urban areas while 72 per cent of that segment say they agree or strongly agree with the statement that “Canada Post should have to cover all its own costs, and not be subsidized by taxpayers.”
“For some Canadians, changes to Canada Post delivery service taste about as good as the glue on the back of a stamp,” says Shachi Kurl, vice president of Angus Reid Global. “But the level of distaste depends on which party they have stuck with politically in the past. These changes appear to give Prime Minister Stephen Harper less trouble with his base.”
In contrast, only 31 per cent of those who said they voted Liberal or NDP in 2011 said they support the service changes. According to the findings, 87 per cent of those who voted Liberal agreed with the statement “losing home mail delivery will pose a real hardship for some people,” while 84 per cent of the past NDP voters said they were concerned about the loss of jobs as a result of the service changes and cuts.
‘Unaffected and unconcerned’
According to the survey, 90 per cent of those who said they were unaffected or unconcerned were in favour of ending the door-to-door delivery service, while the majority—or 73 per cent—of those who supported the cuts were male.
Only 27 per cent were women.
Surprisingly, only 16 per cent of those who said they were unaffected or unconcerned were aged 18-34 while 55 per cent were between the ages of 35-54.
Criticism mixed with praise
The changes have been met with criticism from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) who called the cost-cutting decisions by Canada “short-sighted and foolish.”
“If this happens, it would be the end of an era for Canada Post,” said Denis Lemelin, CUPW national president, in a statement on Dec. 11. “We recognize that Canada Post needs to change, but this is not the way.”
On Wednesday, members of CUPW delivered thousands of postcards to Transport Minister Lisa Raitt from Canadians who are angry that Canada Post is closing and downsizing public post offices.
Last week, Raitt said she supports the action by Canada Post to return to financial sustainability in order to protect taxpayers, while modernizing its business and aligning postal services with the choices of Canadians.
“In today’s digital age, Canadians are sending less mail than ever,” she said. “I look forward to seeing progress as Canada Post rolls out its plan for an efficient, modern postal service that protects taxpayers and is equipped to meet Canadians’ needs now and in the future.”
On December 13th 2013, Angus Reid Global conducted an online survey among 1,010 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The margin of error – which measures sampling variability – is +/- 3.1%.
© Shaw Media, 2013