Canada Post to phase out urban door-to-door delivery

Watch the video above: Canada Post to phase out urban door-to-door delivery. Carey Marsden reports. 

TORONTO – Canada Post will phase out home delivery in urban centres within the next five years.

The postal service said Wednesday that home delivery to the one-third of Canadians who receive it at their door will be replaced by community mailboxes.

The changeover is slated to begin in the summer of 2014.

READ MORE: 7 things to know about Canada Post’s plan to axe home delivery

As a result of the new business plan, Canada Post said it will eliminate 6,000 to 8,000 positions.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers called the cost-cutting decisions by Canada “short-sighted and foolish”.

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BLOG: Canada Post: You’re doing it wrong

“If this happens, it would be the end of an era for Canada Post,” said Denis Lemelin, CUPW national president, in a statement. “We recognize that Canada Post needs to change, but this is not the way.”

CUPW President: Proposed Canada Post changes would be the ‘end of an era’

Minister of Transport Lisa 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.

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“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.”

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Shortly after today’s announcement, New Democrat MP Olivia Chow said the federal government is “destroying Canadians’ long-treasured postal services.”

READ MORE: As Canada Post struggles, small towns worry about future mail service

“These job-killing and service-cutting measures will isolate seniors, the poor and the disabled living in urban areas,” she said.

WATCH: Canada Post spokesperson addresses Wednesday’s announcement

Meanwhile NDP MP Peter Julian criticized the government for the timing of the announcement as the House of Commons adjourned on Tuesday until late January.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said the decision doesn’t appear to be based on any in-depth study of the potential impact, and wasn’t preceded by any meaningful discussion with customers.

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“The consultation that Canada Post apparently did is singularly lacking in metrics, in numbers – it’s basically anecdotal,” he said.

WATCH: Trudeau frustrated by lack of consultation on Canada Post overhaul

Stamp prices going up

The postal service said it expects nearly 15,000 employees to retire or leave the company within the transition period.

On Wednesday, Ottawa announced that it would bring in new regulations that will give pension relief from the need to make special payments to reduce the Crown corporation’s $5.9-billion solvency deficit. Canada Post would have been required to make $1 billion in solvency payments next year.

Canada Post said the majority of Canadians buy stamps in booklets or coils, so under the new pricing each stamp, when purchased in bulk, will cost 85 cents.

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Beginning March 31 the cost of an individual stamp will jump 37 cents to $1.

READ MORE: The journey of a holiday package at a Canada Post plant

In November, the Crown corporation reported a loss of $129 million for the third quarter and a seven per cent decline in mail volumes, putting the postal service on track to a record loss in 2013.

Under the new business plan, Canada Post expects to return to financial stability by 2019.

Canada Post said it will bolster its retail network by opening more postal outlets in stores across the country.

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