Four-member panel to review Canada Post

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Public Services Minister Judy Foote

OTTAWA – The federal government is embarking today on a formal review of Canada Post that will look at whether the Crown corporation should continue with its plan to cut door-to-door mail delivery.

The four-member independent panel could also examine whether the national letter carrier should get back into the banking business.

An official in Public Services Minister Judy Foote’s office says the panel will look at “all options” as it conducts the review.

The task force panel, to be announced by Foote at a news conference in Ottawa, will provide an interim report by the end of summer, with final recommendations to be made before year’s end, said Annie Trepanier, a spokeswoman for the minister.

The postal unions have been pushing the banking option as a way for Canada Post to make money.

The postal service ditched its financial offerings in 1968, but the Canadian Union of Postal Workers argues that re-introducing banking at the agency’s more than 6,500 outlets could generate revenue that’s been lost as fewer people send letters.

Seniors groups and advocates for the disabled cried foul when Canada Post announced a controversial plan to phase out home mail delivery and switch millions of Canadians over to community mailboxes.

During the election campaign, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau pledged to restore door-to-door mail delivery. Once in power, he temporarily halted a move over to community boxes that was already underway.

But Foote told a parliamentary committee earlier this year that any return of home mail delivery service would depend on what the Crown corporation can afford to provide.

At the same time, the minister said she expected the review panel to look at other avenues of business that would enable Canada Post to be self-sustaining.

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