From anywhere…To your wallet

But snazzy ads won’t shake an uncompetitive image. After all, Canada Post was never meant to compete with the private sector; its role is to provide a public good that the market doesn’t, the same way government once funded railways and airlines, before they were privatized.

Canadian Business magazine
January 7, 2002

From anywhere…To your wallet
Kevin Libin

Feeling a little weird opening your mail these days? You’re not alone. Experts actually predict that October’s anthrax attacks will have resulted in an increased use of faxes, e-mails and couriers. But even before the bioterror panic, snail mail was taking a backseat to many newer innovations. Which is why, after a 133-year monopoly, Canada Post has been looking uncompetitive. Recently, the Crown Corporation rolled out a glitzy new ad campaign (“From anywhere…to anyone”) showing off its high-tech side to prove to Canadians just how viable it is in the modern information age.

But snazzy ads won’t shake an uncompetitive image. After all, Canada Post was never meant to compete with the private sector; its role is to provide a public good that the market doesn’t, the same way government once funded railways and airlines, before they were privatized.

There are still plenty of reasons we’ll be needing ye olde post office for some years to come—and despite the technology revolution, Canada Post continually posts record earnings. But when private businesses offer alternatives that are cheaper and easier—all without relying on public backing—it’s to be encouraged. Instead, it looks like Canada Post prefers spending public money to fight the inevitable.


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