OTTAWA – The cost of mailing a first-class letter within Canada is going up today – by 35 per cent.
Canada Post is raising the price of a stamp to 85 cents, up from 63 cents.
While the new price applies when buying stamps in bulk, it will cost $1 to buy a single first-class stamp. Large-volume mailers, however, will pay only 69 or 70 cents per stamp.
Canada Post says permanent stamps, which are marked “p” will continue to be accepted even though they were bought at the lower price.
On Monday, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers says Canada Post’s new higher postage rates are structured to give big businesses a break while individuals and smaller organizations will pay more.
“That’s the Conservative way: one standard for their corporate friends and another for the rest of us,” said CUPW national president Denis Lemelin, speaking at a press conference with NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice.
“Canada Post is supposed to provide public postal service for all and that includes fair prices for all,” said Lemelin.
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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. The average Canadian household buys two stamps a month, Canada Post said.
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.
The postal service announced the price hike in December. At the same time it also revealed plans to phase out door-to-door mail delivery to the one-third of Canadian homes that still receive it.
Back in February, Canada post announced that beginning this fall, 11 communities across Canada will start collecting mail at community mail boxes as Canada Post begins its move to phase out door-to-door delivery.
It’s the first stage of a five-year plan announced in December and will involve about 100,000 addresses.
Canada Post says that in large cities during this phase, only a few neighbourhoods will be affected, and delivery will continue to businesses.
Canada Post says these neighbourhoods are near areas that already have community mailboxes, so the infrastructure is already in place.
© 2014 The Canadian Press