By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Nov. 10, 2012
Burdened by increasing costs and rising expenses, Canada Post wants developers to share the tab for installing new post boxes.
Starting Jan.1, Canada Post will charge developers $200 for every new mailbox in residential and commercial developments.
The fee won’t be applied to apartments and condos, and Canada Post will continue to bear some installation and maintenance cost for community mail boxes.
Canada Post wants developers to see the cost as additional service amenity.
The mailboxes are no different than roads, streetlights, and other utilities such as fire hydrants or storm and wastewater sewerage, Canada Post says.
New residential and commercial developments add between 150,000 and 200,000 mailing addresses every year.
This increases Canada Post’s costs by millions of dollars a year, for installation and other costs, the company claims.
Profit, however, is shrinking as it faces stiff competition from the much-quicker World Wide Web.
Canada Post claims it’s experiencing ‘unprecedented volume declines’ in its core business: delivery of bills, statements and letters.
In August this year, Canada Post reported loss of $10 million, even as mail volumes were down 4.4 per cent.
In 2011, Canada Post reported its first annual financial loss in 17 years, followed by losses in the first two quarters of 2012.
Canadian Home Builders Association isn’t as sympathetic to the story.
CHBA president Ron Olson said the policy is unfair for new home buyers who will have to foot the new bill.
“This levy will further damage housing affordability, which is already in a considerably weakened state because of costs imposed by governments,” Olson said.
Olson said Canada Post introduced the policy unilaterally, and without any consultation with the home builders association.
“In an era when government agencies are striving to be more transparent and accountable, Canada Post is doing exactly the opposite,” he charged.
Meanwhile, Canada Post said the policy will come into effect next year.
Canada Post said in a media release it had a mandate from the Government of Canada to be financially self-sustaining.
Its operations, the company noted, are funded by the sale of its products and services, not by taxpayer dollars.