A couple weeks back, Maclean’s published an article about Canada Post that focused in part on the crown corporation’s implementation of distance-related pricing for publications mail. The article quoted two industry representatives—Mark Jamison, CEO of Magazines Canada, and Deborah Morrison, publisher of The Beaver—who both argued that DRP is essentially un-Canadian.
“This is a unique nation with respect to its postal requirements. We’ve got a thin little band of folks spread all over the place,” [said Jamison]. “We have to view our postal delivery system as part of the cultural and social mechanism that helps keep us together. It’s as important as building the railroad was.”
Maclean’s has published three letters responding to the article in its current issue.
In the first, Art Davidson from Edmonton cheekily suggests:
“If Canada Post considers it fair to apply distrance-related pricing to magazines that are shipped long distances, then it should reduce rates for those of us who don’t have home delivery service but have to pick up our mail at centrally located mailboxes.”
A note from Christina M. Babcock of Toronto comes at the question of “fairness” from a different angle:
“If Bell Canada can charge long-distance rates based on the calling distance, then I see no reason why Canada Post can’t charge postage based on how far the item is traveling.”
Heather Jopling of Cobourg, Ont., also has no sympathy for the magazine industry's pleas.
“Canada is the second largest country on this planet, and critics are balking at the notion that it might cost a bit more to deliver mail to our farthest residents? Have these critics mailed anything themselves lately? Heavier mail is charged a heftier postage rate; a package sent from P.E.I. to Vancouver will cost more than a package from P.E.I. to Montreal. The corporation makes money, yes, but also gives money back. According to the article, $47 million of its gross profit of $160 million in 2007 (and that’s gross profit, not net profit) went back to the federal government as a dividend, which in turn helps with federal programs, debt reduction and our Canadian social net, as well as countless other initiatives from the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health to the Santa Letter Writing campaign. If the Canada Post critics would prefer that the corporation not make any profit and cease to do the above-mentioned activities, are those same critics willing to take over themselves?”