|Headquarters||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Key people||Deepak Chopra, President and CEO
Marc Courtois, Chairman of the Board
|Products||Courier express services
Freight forwarding services
Canada Post Corporation, known more simply as Canada Post (French: Société canadienne des postes, or simply Postes Canada), is the crown corporation which functions as the country's primary postal operator. Originally known as Royal Mail Canada (the operating name of the Post Office Department of the Canadian government founded in 1867), rebranding was done to the “Canada Post” name in the late 1960s, even though it had not yet been separated from the government. On October 16, 1981, the Canada Post Corporation Act came into effect. That abolished the Post Office Department and created the present day Crown corporation which provides postal service. The act purported to set a new direction for the postal service, aiming to create a more reliable service and to ensure the postal service's financial security and independence.
Domestic lettermail delivery decreased from 5 billion pieces in 2006 to 4 billion pieces in 2012. Canada Post provides service to 14.8 million addresses, delivering 11.6 billion items in 2006. Delivery takes place via traditional "to the door" service by 15,000 letter carriers, supplemented by a 7,000 vehicle fleet in rural and suburban areas, and truck delivery of parcels. In 2004, an estimated 65% of overall expenses were due to salaries and benefits. There are 6,500 post offices across the country, a combination of corporate offices and dealerships that are operated by private retailers in conjunction with a host retail business, such as a drugstore. In terms of area serviced, Canada Post delivers to a larger area than the postal service of any other nation, including Russia (where service in Siberia is limited largely to communities along the railway). As of 2004, nearly 843,000 rural Canadian customers received residential mail delivery services.
The Corporation processed 9.7 billion pieces during year 2012. Consolidated revenue from operations reached $7.5 billion and consolidated net income totaled $94 million. Canada Post operates as a group of companies called The Canada Post Group. It employs 71,000 full and part-time employees to deliver a full range of delivery, logistics and fulfillment services to customers. The Corporation holds an interest in Purolator Courier, Innovapost, Progistix-Solutions and Canada Post International Limited. In 2000, Canada Post created a company called Epost, allowed customers to receive their bill online for free (in 2007, Epost was absorbed into Canada Post).
Canada Post (French: Postes Canada) is the Federal Identity Program name. The legal name is Canada Post Corporation in English and Société canadienne des postes in French. During the late 1980s and much of the 1990s, the short forms used in the corporation's logo were "Mail" (English) and "Poste" (French), rendered as "Mail Poste" in English Canada, and "Poste Mail" in Quebec, although English-language advertising also still referred to the corporation as "Canada Post".
- 1 History
- 2 Ombudsman
- 3 Mail format
- 4 Major products and services
- 4.1 Transaction mail
- 4.2 Parcels
- 4.3 Direct marketing
- 4.4 E-Commerce
- 5 History Of Stamps
- 6 Noted stamps
- 7 Organizational issues
- 8 Letters to Santa Claus
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
On August 3, 1527 in St. John's, Newfoundland, the first known letter was sent from present day Canada. While in St. John's, John Rut wrote a letter to King Henry VIII about his findings and planned voyage. Mail delivery within Canada first started in 1693 when the Portuguese born Pedro da Silva was paid to deliver mail between Quebec City and Montreal. Official postal services began in 1775, under the control of the British Government up to 1851. The first postage stamp (designed by Sir Sandford Fleming) went into circulation in Canada that same year. It was not until 1867 when the newly formed Dominion of Canada created the Post Office Department as a federal government department (The Act for the Regulation of the Postal Service) headed by a Cabinet minister, the Postmaster General of Canada. The Act took effect April 1, 1868, providing uniform postal service throughout the newly established country. The Canadian post office was designed around the British service as created by Sir Rowland Hill, who introduced the concept of charging mail by weight and not destination along with creating the concept of the postage stamp.
Prior to rural mail delivery, many Canadians living outside major cities and towns had little communication with the outside world. On 10 October 1908, the first free rural mail delivery service was instituted in Canada. The extension of residential mail delivery services to all rural Canadian residents was a major achievement for the Post Office Department.
The Post Office Department was an early pioneer of airmail delivery, with the first airmail flight taking place on June 24, 1918, carrying mail from Montreal to Toronto. A modern plaque at the site of Leaside Aerodrome reads: "At 10:12 a.m. on June 24, 1918, Captain Brian Peck of the Royal Air Force and mechanic Corporal C.W. Mathers took off from the Bois Franc Polo Grounds in Montreal in a JN-4 Curtiss two-seater airplane. They had with them the first bag of mail to be delivered by air in Canada. Wind and rain buffetted the small plane and forced it to make refuelling stops at Kingston and Deseronto. Finally, at 4:55 p.m., Peck and Mathers landed at the Leaside Aerodrome (immediately southwest of here). The flight had been arranged by a civilian organization, the Aerial League of the British Empire, to demonstrate that aviation was the way of the future." A regular air express service began in 1928.
The 1970s was a tough decade for the Post Office, with major strikes combined with annual deficits that had hit $600 million by 1981. This state of affairs made politicians want to rethink their strategy for the federal department. It resulted in two years of public debate and input into the future of mail delivery in Canada. The government sought to give the post office more autonomy, in order to make it more commercially viable and to compete against the new threat of private courier services. On October 16, 1981, the Federal Parliament passed the "Canada Post Corporation Act", which transformed Canada Post into a Crown corporation to create the Canada Post Corporation (CPC). The legislation also includes a measure that legally guarantees basic postal service to all Canadians. It stipulates that all Canadians have the right to expect mail delivery, regardless of where they live.
Several historical sites related to the history of the Post Office Department of Canada can be visited today. In Ontario, the first Toronto Post Office is still in operation. The site of the Air Canada Centre was once the Canada Post Delivery Building. Also notable are the Vancouver Main Post Office and the Dawson, Yukon, Post Office, a National Historic Site of Canada. In Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia, a nineteenth-century lighthouse acts as a seasonal post office for the tiny coastal community.
|1693||First paid mail delivery within Canada|
|1775||British Government begins offering mail service in Canada|
|1851||British provincial governments in Canada take control of mail delivery|
|1867||Following Confederation, federal Post Office Department created|
|1878||Post Office Department joins Universal Postal Union|
|1927||Contract air-mail service begins in Manitoba, air-mail between Rimouski and Quebec-Montreal-Ottawa begins|
|1937||Canada Post helps to finance Trans-Canada Airlines with air-mail contract|
|1939||Daily air-mail service begins between Montreal and Vancouver|
|1957||Dr. Maurice Levy invents the automatic postal sorter, which could handle 200,000 letters per hour.|
|1971||Initial implementation of the postal code|
|1981||Canada Post Corporation Act is passed by Parliament|
|1981||Canada Post is turned into a Crown Corporation|
|1993||Canada Post purchases a majority stake in Purolator Courier|
|2006||Introduction of the Permanent Stamp, a stamp that is always worth the basic domestic mailing rate. Canada Post announces plans to review whether or not to continue rural individual mail delivery services to 843,000 Canadian customers.|
|2013||Canada Post suspends sales of the Permanent Stamp until after the March 2014 rate increase.|
The Ombudsman is the final appeal authority in resolving postal service complaints. If a complaint is not resolved to the customer’s satisfaction by Canada Post, the customer can appeal to the Ombudsman. Although the Ombudsman has no legislative power over the Corporation, the recommendations that the office makes to Canada Post can help improve company processes, amend policies and reinforce compliance with procedures.
The Ombudsman is independent of Canada Post staff and management, reporting directly to the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mrs. Francine Conn was appointed on July 11, 2011 as the fourth and current Ombudsman at Canada Post. The services offered by the Office of the Ombudsman are free of charge.
Any letter sent within Canada has the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner or the back of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.
Official addressing protocol is for the address to be in block letters, using a fixed-pitch typeface (such as Courier). The first line(s) of the address contain(s) the personal name and internal address of the recipient. The second-to-last line is the post office box, general delivery indicator, or street address, using the shortened name of the street type and no punctuation. The last line consists of the legal place name, a single space, the two-letter province abbreviation, two full spaces, and then the postal code. The country designation is unnecessary if mailed within Canada.
10-321½ RUE CHARLES OUEST
MONTRÉAL QC H3Z 2Y7
1234 FRANKLIN AVE
PO BOX 4001 STN A
YELLOWKNIFE NT X1A 2B5
1234 7TH CONCESSION
SITE 6 COMP 10
RR 8 STN MAIN
MILLARVILLE AB T0L 1K0
GD STN MAIN
WALKERTON ON N0G 2V0
Major products and services
The Corporation has a directory of all its products and services called the Postal Guide and has divided its range of services into three main categories: Transaction Mail, Parcels and Direct Marketing.
The lettermail service allows the transmission of virtually any paper document. The 2013 rate was 63 cents for a standard letter (30 g or less) and $1.10 for a letter between 30 g and 50 g. Rates usually increase in mid-January of each year (in 2014 the increase has been delayed to the end of March); for ordinary letters (30 g or less), the 2014 rate was originally scheduled to be $0.65. The rate is regulated by a price-cap formula, linked to the inflation rate. The Corporation now has a “permanent” stamp that is valued at the domestic rate forever, eliminating the need to buy 1 cent stamps after a rate increase. The rates for lettermail are based on weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one.
The rates for services have generally been increasing above the rate of inflation. An exception is the rate for basic domestic letters for which Canada Post maintains that Canada has one of the lowest rates in the world because government regulation caps increases for this at below inflation.
The Canada Post website documents standards for delivery within Canada:
Daily cross-country airmail services were introduced in 1939. Canadian municipal delivery service standards are two days, as seen on the Lettermail Delivery Standards Grid.
Mail sent internationally is known as letter-post. It can only contain paper documents (See Light Packet and Small Packet below). The 2013 rate for a standard letter is $1.10 if sent to the United States and $1.85 if sent to any other destination.
Canada Post offers four domestic parcel services. The rates are based on distance, weight, and size. The maximum acceptable weight is 30 kg.
|Regular Parcel||Expected delivery time ranges from 2 to 13 business days, depending on the destination.|
|Expedited Parcel||Available only to business customers.|
|Delivery time ranges from 1 to 13 business days, depending on the destination.|
|Xpresspost||Is a service for parcels and documents.|
|Delivery time ranges from 1 to 2 business days between major centres, and up to 7 business days to more remote areas.|
|Priority||Is a service for parcels and documents.|
|Provides next business day service between major centres, and service within 7 business days to more remote locations.|
- Compensates for the fact that goods are prohibited in the letterpost(regular mail) service.
- Maximum weight is 500 g. Maximum dimensions are 380 mm × 270 mm × 20 mm.
- Rates based on weight and destination (USA or international).
- No on time guarantee
- No ability to make a trace or investigation if it is lost or delayed
- Air and surface services are available.
- Maximum weight is 1 kg (USA) and 2 kg (International).
- No on time guarantee
- No ability to make a trace or investigation if it is lost or delayed
Expedited Parcel USA
- Available for items sent to the United States only.
- Despite its name, does not provide any service guarantee.
- The maximum acceptable weight is 30 kg
- It is cheaper than the standard international rate.
- Handed off to the USPS as Priority Mail.
Xpresspost-USA and International
- Provides speedy and guaranteed delivery to addresses in the United States.
- Provides accelerated delivery to certain countries.
- Maximum weight is 30 kg (USA) and 20 to 30 kg (depending on the international destination).
- Handed off to the USPS / other postal administrations as Express Mail / EMS.
- Air and surface service available.
- Provides delivery to countries to which Xpresspost is not available.
- No on time guarantee
- Partnered with FedEx.
- Delivers overnight to the US and to more than 220 countries in 2-3 business days with detailed tracking.
- Promotional mailings targeted to specific residents.
- Minimum quantity of 1,000 articles.
- Consists of printed matter and product samples that are not addressed to specific delivery addresses in Canada, but to specific neighbourhoods or cities.
- Canada Post uses a 13 character barcode for their pre-printed labels. Bar codes consist of two letters, followed by eight sequence digits, and a ninth digit which is the check digit. The last two characters are the letters CA. The check digit seems to ignore the letters and only concern itself with the first 8 numeric digits. The scheme is to multiply each of those 8 digits by a different weighting factor, (8 6 4 2 3 5 9 7). Add up the total of all of these multiplications and divide by 11. The remainder after dividing by 11 gives a number from 0 to 10. Subtracting this from 11 gives a number from 1 to 11. That result is the check digit, except in the two cases where it is 10 or 11. If 10 it is then changed to a 0, and if 11 then it is changed to a 5. The check digit may be used to verify if a barcode scan is correct, or if a manual entry of the barcode is correct.
Canada Post Store
Canada Post operates a store front that sells a variety of stamps, and postal supplies to the public. The personal shop is focused on nominal postage, shipping supplies, and prepaid envelopes while the collectors shop has a selection of limited edition definitive and commemorative stamps as well as coins.
On October 26, 2010, Canada Post launched a comparison shopping service for Canadians. This service, Canada Post Comparison Shopper, allowed shoppers to find and compare product available to Canadians from over 500 stores across the USA and Canada. Notable features included price comparison, store policy information, cross-border shipping, duties and fees estimation, price history charts, reviews and color search ability. As of October 2012 the Comparison Shopper service is no longer available.
History Of Stamps
Although Canada Post is responsible for stamp design and production, the corporation does not actually choose the subjects or the final designs that appear on stamps. That task falls under the jurisdiction of the Stamp Advisory Committee. Their objective is to recommend a stamp program that will have broad-based appeal, regionally and culturally, reflecting Canadian history, heritage, and tradition.
Before Canada Post calls a meeting of the committee, it also welcomes suggestions for stamp subjects from Canadian citizens. Ideas for subjects that have recently appeared on a stamp are declined. The committee works two years in advance and can approve approximately 20 subjects for each year.
Once a stamp subject is selected, Canada Post’s Stamp Products group conducts research. Designs are commissioned from two firms, both chosen for their expertise. The designs are presented anonymously to the committee. The committee’s process and selection policy have changed little in the thirty years since it was introduced.
Canada Post has a history of troubled labour relations with its trade unions, particularly the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) and the Letter Carriers Union of Canada (which merged with CUPW in 1989), culminating in periodic strike action that has halted mail service in Canada on different occasions. There have been at least 19 strikes, lockouts, and walkouts between 1965 and 1997, including several wildcat strikes. A number of these strikes since the 1970s have seen the corporation employ strikebreakers, resulting in back-to-work legislation being passed by the Canadian parliament.
Canada Post was also the setting for one of the most controversial labour rulings of recent years. After several prosecutions for theft at its Mississauga's Gateway Postal Facility, the union won a ruling from a labour board that the workers involved could not be dismissed as the length of the investigation exceeded the ten-day limit in the collective agreement under which any allegation of misconduct had to be brought to the attention of the worker. Although the ruling was reversed on appeal, the Court of Appeal for Ontario ruled that although the decision may have been incorrect, it was not so totally without merit that the labour board's decision should be overturned [clarification needed]. The court noted the language was in the collective agreement to keep supervisors from holding infractions over the head of a worker indefinitely.
In 2007, Canada Post was able to sign a 4-year agreement with CUPW without any labour disruptions. For 2007, 2008, and 2009 the corporation was named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers, as published in Maclean's magazine. In 2008, however, it endured a long strike by its administrative worker union — Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) - which compromised customer service.
Nearly all Canada Post employees who are not in the CUPW belong to one of three smaller trade unions. The Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association covers 12,000 rural workers, the Association of Postal Officials of Canada has 3,400 supervisors and the Union of Postal Communications Employees represents 2,600 technical workers.
On June 2, 2011, a labour action involving rotating strikes (the first strike to affect Canada Post in 14 years) commenced with CUPW members striking in Winnipeg, Manitoba and in Hamilton, Ontario on June 3. If Canada Post and CUPW are unable to reach an agreement during talks scheduled on June 3, a wider strike may commence affecting mail service across Canada. On Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 11:59pm EST, Canada Post announced a lockout of CUPW members, marking the 20th work stoppage in the 46-year relationship between CUPW and Canada Post. On June 26, it was announced that operations would resume as of June 27.
Safety of rural mobile delivery personnel on busy roads has been an ongoing concern. Canada Post launched the Rural Mail Safety Review as rural and suburban mail carriers across the country, supported by their union, raised complaints about workplace safety. As of March 2008, there have been more than 1,400 such complaints. In some cases, the union staged protests in delivering mail, even after Canada Post tests showed there was no undue traffic safety risk at a particular mail box. Such cases were referred to Labour Canada, who in several instances asked Canada Post to cease delivery to mailboxes. In December 2006, the Canadian government ordered that Canada Post maintain rural delivery wherever possible. On January 1, 2004 rural route contractors became employees of Canada Post. They are represented by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Their Rural Suburban Mail Carrier contract expired on December 31, 2011.
Moya Greene, former Canada Post CEO, was quoted as saying that years of under-investment to improve the company had hurt its efficiency and its financial performance. In September 2007, she estimated that modernizing the corporation would cost $2.7 billion over five to seven years for new buildings, equipment, technology and training.
There have been calls for the privatization of Canada Post. Supporters of privatization contend that the public sector is more labour-intensive and uses less capital than the private sector, resulting in state owned enterprises that are less productive. Some argue that the economic crisis coupled with deficit spending makes Canada Post a prime candidate for privatization. Supporters of privatization point to the United Kingdom, Finland, New Zealand and Sweden, which have given up on the government-enforced monopoly on mail delivery and have exposed their former monopoly mail providers to competition. Additionally, 27 European Union member states have also agreed to end government monopolies on mail delivery. Critics also point to the Netherlands, which fully privatized its postal service which had previously expanded into foreign markets and diversified business. The Netherlands Post had invested in TNT's courier operations with Canada Post. Canada Post sold those interests prior to buying a majority stake in Purolator Courier. In 2009, a study conducted at the University of Toronto by Professor Edward Iacobucci and other colleagues concluded that privatization of Canada Post would result in "efficiency gains and improvements in service quality".
Phasing out door-to-door delivery
Beginning in 2014, Canada Post plans to end door-to-door service in urban centres and replace it with community mailboxes. The shift is purportedly intended to lower costs. The approximately 8,000 job cuts are expected to be completed via attrition. The cost of a single stamp for domestic lettermail is scheduled to rise from $0.63 to $1.00 in 2014. Some services have sprung up for southern Ontario shippers to ship from the US and in so doing, to avoid the cost of Canada Post; this is only a one-way service because of problems with Canada Customs.
Letters to Santa Claus
Canada Post receives millions of letters addressed to Santa Claus each year, with a special dedicated postal code, H0H 0H0. About 15,000 current and retired Canada Post employees respond to each letter received pretending to be Santa in many languages. Over the past 27 years, more than 15 million letters were written by Canada Post volunteers.
In 2001, Canada Post started accepting e-mail messages to Santa. In 2006, more than 44,000 email messages were responded to.
In 1974, three Canada Post employees started to respond to mail addressed to Santa in Montreal, Quebec. In 1982, Canada Post rolled out the initiative across Canada and pledged that every letter sent in would be replied to. It is not required to put on a stamp when sending a letter to Santa Claus but Canada Post gives a donation for alphabetisation. Canada Post also receives letters to God and on occasion, the Easter Bunny. The first Santa letter to arrive at The London (Ontario) Mail Processing Plant (LMPP) for the 2009 Holiday Season was Wednesday June 3, 2009.
- Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
- Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)
- Postmaster General of Canada
- Universal Postal Union
- Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal
- United States Postal Service
- "Canada Post Corporation Act". Department of Justice (Canada). Justice Laws. 1985. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- Canada Post Corporation Act Part I Section 5
- "2012 Annual Report - Overview". Canada Post. canadapost.ca. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- "2009 Annual Report About Us-Page 1". canadapost.ca. Retrieved 2009-02-17.[dead link]
- Canada Post Annual Report 2006
- Canada Post Annual Report 2004
- Randall Denley (May 3, 2008). "Canada Post set to deliver fatal blow to rural mail service". The Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- "Canada Post-Fast Facts".[dead link]
- MAIL POSTE & DESIGN trademark (application no. 0577188), Canadian Intellectual Property Office, accessed 23 May 2010
- Paul O'Neill (2003) The Oldest City, The Story of St. John's, Newfoundland (p. 116) ISBN 0-9730271-2-6
- [dead link]
- "The Postal Syatem" article in the Canadian Encyclopedia online
- Letter Mail Regulations, SOR/88-430 . Schedule ("Rates of Postage — Letter Mail") to section 3.
- Under the price-cap formula approved by the federal government in 2000, basic letter rate increases, when warranted, will not exceed 66.67% of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index from May prior to the last increase to May of the current year. Increases will be implemented no more than once a year, in January, and announced no later than July 1 in the year before the increase goes into effect in the Canada Gazette Part I.
- "2006 Annual Report-About us-Page 2".
- Canada Post:"Canada Post Introduce Shopping Website". Oct 26, 2010.
- Techvibes:"Canada Post launches comparison-based shopping online database". Nov 3, 2010.
- Canada Post:"Canada Post Comparison Shopper". Oct 10, 2012.
- RedFlagDeals:"What happened to CanadaPost Shopper Comparison?". Oct 9, 2012.
- Canada's Stamp Details, pp.16–17, January to March 2005, Volume XIV, No. 1
- "Keith Beardsley: Post Office pays the price for MPs’ summer vacation". June 23, 2011. Retrieved 2014-04-05.
- "Canada Post Corporation v. Canadian Union of Postal Workers (November 15, 2001)". Court of Appeal of Ontario.
- "Reasons for Selection, 2007 Canada's Top 100 Employers". Eluta.ca. March 13, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- "Employer Review:Canada Post Corporation". Eluta.ca. January 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- "About us". CPAA. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- "About APOC". Association of Postal Officials of Canada. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- "About Us". UPCE. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- Update: Hamilton next to be hit by postal strike | News | National Post
- Communiqués de Presse
- "Delivering a New Canada Post". The National Post (and Lethbridge Local CUPW #770. Retrieved 2007-09-21.
- "Time to privatize: Governments should begin selling off assets". Fraser Institute. April 3, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- "Canada Post a Prime Candidate for Privatization". Canada.com. January 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- "Look Abroad". Canada.com. January 2, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- Commisso, Christina (December 11, 2013). "Critics blast Canada Post's plan to phase out door-to-door delivery". CTVNews.ca. Bell Media. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- "Canada Post: We’ve got mail, but not for long" 13 Dec 2013 G+M
- "Who's eating Canada Post's lunch: The intricate delivery route of Canadian packages" 23 Dec 2013 G+M
- Blaine Kyllo (November 22, 2007). "Santa's making a blog and checking it twice". straight.com.
- |LMPP observations answering letters since 1988 by Wayne Ray and other Canada Post employees
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Canada Post.|
- Lettermail Delivery Standards Grid (see Table 9)
- Priority™ Delivery Standards Grid (see Table 12)
- Official Website
- Canadian Postal Archives - History site run by the Government of Canada
- Library and Archives Canada - Various links to history of Canada Post websites (Run by the Government of Canada)
- (Contains reference articles on Canadian Stamps)
- Website shows way to stop Canada Post junk mail
- London Mail Processing Plant history
- Association of Postal Officials of Canada (APOC)
- Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA)