EDITORIAL: Canada Post needs to adapt

Possible hours of operation reductions at rural post office outlets might be inconvenient for users of those outlets.

And they certainly are troubling for the employees that will be affected.

But they are a logical sign of the times, a natural outcome of our move toward a paperless society and something we should expect to see more of in the future.

Canada Post has a delicate line to walk, balancing its mandate to provide service to every address in Canada with the fact it has been usurped as the most convenient provider of many of the services it used to deliver exclusively.

Some of you still write a good, old-fashioned missive with pen and ink on a fresh sheet of white foolscap, instead of sliding behind a computer keyboard. There are people who prefer a paper trail of bills to the world of online banking. And there are businesses out there whose clients are willing to wait for that package in the mail.

But they are part of a declining demographic.

According to the Toronto Star, Canada Post’s letter volumes fell by two per cent last year. Parcel deliveries dropped by eight per cent, and direct-marketing mail declined by 11 per cent.

Those declines occured while the number of addresses Canada Post must serve is growing by more than 200,000 a year.

And the world of electronic communication continues to expand, while courier companies battle to find faster and cheaper delivery options.

In order to remain cost-effective, Canada Post will have to make cuts to compensate. Service reductions at smaller but not necessarily remote outlets seems a logical place to start.