The Conservatives chose a pretty convenient time to make sweeping changes to the operations of Canada Post. Right before parliament ended session before the holidays, the government announced that door-to-door service would be discontinued in many urban areas. The price of postage would also be increased. This underhanded approach has not surpirsed many Canadians, but the ramifications are real. Debate about public policy is essential and in this instance, the government has demonstrated that being held accountable to Canadians is a low priority. Mail delivery is not a topic that most Canadians are apt to get excited about. As a matter of public policy it's not something that creates intense discussion. However, regardless of how one feels about door-to-door service, there are two problems with what the government is doing.
First, it's suggesting that it's okay for the government to paternalistically dictate how large public corporations function. The government is responsible for the management of crown corporations like Canada Post, but it is supposed to work with Canadians to decide how this should be done. Harper has chosen a time deliberately in order to meet minimal resistance in carrying out his plans. While it is unclear what his objectives are, the reality is that he is attenpting to sort the issue out without public consultation or even any proper attention.
Second, it's continuing an attack for ideological reasons. Canada Post is a union stronghold and a cornerstone for workers' organisations in Canada. This is not the first time that Harper has targeted Canada Post, nor will it be the last. There is little empirical evidence that Canada Post cannot continue to operate in much the same way with some minor changes. The drastic cuts and fee increases are not justified, according to many who study the world of mail. Harper's ideological war against unionised labour is just another prong in his attacks on great public institutions in Canada.
Parliament just resumed this week and the opposition has tried to resume the debate over Canada Post. Unsurprisingly, this issue has now passed on since the initial shock that Canadians experienced has passed. Another win for the Conservatives.