You may not have heard this, but apparently it’s true. In five years, Canadians no longer will be able to receive mail at home. Perhaps we should be worried about that. It isn’t that I send many letters to Canada. I send even fewer checks. But here’s why Canada is thinking of ending home mail delivery: It’s a loser’s game.
Canada’s post office is in the hole yearly $1 billion, which may not seem all that much compared to our postal red ink of $5 billion. But Canada’s population of about 34 million is less than 1/10 of our population. If we had the same percentage of annual postal loss Canada has, ours would be $10.2 billion, or about the Senate’s annual budget for cigars.
Canada believes most of the reason for their loss is delivery of the mail to homes, some of which are up in the territories, 200 miles from the nearest post office. Imagine if your postal delivery person had to bring your Madera Direct by private plane every week. It just wouldn’t pencil out. It might help if the Canadians in the territories lived closer together, but they don’t want to. They are a people who believe in being good neighbors, as long as those neighbors don’t live too close — in some cases several miles away.
Canadians still will receive their mail, but they will have to rise from their sofas, put on their hats and overshoes and go to the post office or a neighborhood distribution point to pick it up, which is what a lot of them do now. If you think about it, that’s what many Americans do now, too. For some of those, that may be the only exercise they get, including yours truly.
The Canadians may be showing us our future. In a few years, we, too, may not be able to get our mail delivered to our doors unless we pay for the service. Let’s see: Can you envision first class stamps at $5 each?