Electrified fleet, postal banking among ideas to modernize Canada Post

ERIN, ON — The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) are seeking municipal support for an ambitious program that would modernize Canada Post while mailed letters continue to decline.

Image: Canada Post

Derek Richmond of CUPW delegated to Erin council on Tuesday to generate municipal support for a new initiative called Delivering Community Power.

In a presentation on the council agenda, the project looks at how Canada Post can address various issues such as climate change, social issues by leveraging their own infrastructure of over 6,000 buildings nation-wide.

This in turn would help Canada Post remain relevant as traditional mail service continues to decline.

“They can be so much more than they currently are,” Richmond said in reference to post offices.

Richmond focused mainly on retrofitting buildings with solar panels and electrifying their fleet of vehicles while also providing charging stations at all offices.

“Canada Post would be the host of coast to coast to coast network of reliable electric charging stations,” Richmond said, adding this can benefit tourism in rural towns from those who have electric vehicles.

He also said post offices could provide affordable banking services which they used to do far in the past.

Other ideas in Delivering Community Power include: checking in on seniors, offering a community space and helping expand broadband in rural areas.

The presentation noted some post offices across the world offer many services like the ones proposed in this initiative.

“These will enhance our nation’s infrastructure, social communities and strengthen economic viability in rural communities across Canada,” Richmond said and asked them to consider passing a resolution in support.

Coun. Rob Smith said from a banking perspective banking seems to be shifting online and doesn’t see a demand for physical outlets.

Richmond replied that lots of rural communities don’t have reliable internet access and many seniors don’t know how to properly use a computer.

Coun. Michael Robins commended the postal workers for their innovative thinking as the traditional need for post offices is being reduced.

“It requires a transformation, whether all of these aspects you are asking take hold, who knows,” Robins said. “I encourage you to try to find ways to be relevant, reduce your costs and increase revenue streams.”

Council accepted the delegation as an information item.