Subject: Request for Support for Delivering Community Power
Published: March 23, 2021
Dear Municipal Leaders,
In 2016, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, with a coalition of allies, launched Delivering
Community Power – a visionary program for Canada Post to confront climate change, promote
better access to expanded services, bring financial inclusion to unbanked and underbanked
communities, and address other social inequalities – all by making the most of our existing
public postal service network.
Today, while progress has been made on many of the initiatives in the vision, the situation has
become more urgent. Effects of climate change are deadly and are affecting nearly every part
of society all around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the need for a more
equal, more resilient society that prioritizes the health of our must vulnerable neighbours and
loved ones, before profit. We are relying more than ever on the internet to connect people and
to do our business, but rural residents are getting second-class service.
The continuing decline of letters combined with a dramatic rise in parcels from e-commerce
makes it plain to see: the postal service has to adapt to a new reality. This is a great opportunity
to address multiple problems at once, with a valued public infrastructure that connects
everyone in their own community.
Please consider proposing the attached resolution to have your municipality endorse the
campaign for expanded services, financial viability, climate action, and – all through leveraging
our public postal system. The time is now!
Thank you for your support!
Canadian Union of Postal Workers
VIEW CITY OF CAMROSE, ALBERTA CITY COUNCIL MEETING HERE:(5:03-5:15)
SUPPORT DELIVERING COMMUNITY POWER
Whereas there is an urgent need for banking services among the unbanked or
underbanked, given that thousands of villages and rural municipalities do not have a
bank branch and more than 900 municipalities have expressed their support for postal
Whereas thousands of Canadians do not have access to affordable high-speed Internet,
and the federal government has long promised to bridge the rural broadband gap;
Whereas urgent action is needed to establish a robust network of electric vehicle
Whereas to achieve carbon-neutral targets by 2050, Canada Post must greatly
accelerate the electrification of its fleet;
Whereas the extensive network of post offices in our communities can provide a wide
range of services as community hubs;
Whereas Canada Post’s letter carriers and RSMCs can check-in on vulnerable residents
to help keep us in our homes longer as we age;
Whereas Canada Post must play its part for a more equitable post-pandemic recovery;
Whereas “The Way Forward for Canada Post,” the report of the 2016 federal public
review of the postal service, recommended that Canada Post expand services and adapt
its services to the changing needs of the public;
Whereas the Canadian Union of Postal Workers has advanced Delivering Community
Power, a vision of the post-carbon digital-age postal service that address the above
needs and more;
Be it resolved that endorse Delivering
Community Power, and write to the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister for Public
Services and Procurement, with its rationale and a copy of this resolution.
Please send your resolution to: Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and
Procurement, Rm 18A1, 11 Laurier Street Phase III, Place du Portage, Gatineau, QC,
Please send copies of your resolution to:
Jan Simpson, President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, 377 Bank Street, Ottawa,
Ontario, K2P 1Y3
Your Member of Parliament. You can get your MP’s name, phone number and address
by calling 1-800 463-6868 (at no charge) or going to the Parliament of Canada website:
Please save this document using the name of your organization or municipality in the
GREEN NEW DEAL BEING ROLLED OUT IN CANADA
We are at a crossroads. Our land, air and water
are already feeling the effects of climate change.
Economic inequality and precarious work are
on the rise. Layoffs in fossil fuels extraction
industries are leading to more economic
uncertainty. Scientists tell us that, to prevent
climate catastrophe, we must transition completely
off fossil fuels in our lifetime.
Canada can run entirely on renewable electricity
by 2035 and transition to a 100% clean economy by
2050. If that’s what we want, we have to start now.
“We can sometimes feel overwhelmed
by the sheer number of urgent
and complex issues before us.
What’s beautiful about Delivering
Community Power is how it takes
on economic, environmental and
social issues at the same time. Our
post offices can become centres
of community care and economic
development, while bringing
emissions down — this is the kind
of leap we need in Canada.”
We have to make a Just Transition — one that
takes care of the people and communities paying
the price for waste and pollution, and that also
improves everybody’s economic and social
THE POSTAL SYSTEM CAN DRIVE THIS TRANSITION.
A just transition would create thousands of stable, well-paid jobs, help
replace unsustainable fossil-fuel-based jobs, and support those who have
suffered the negative impacts of polluting industries. We can reduce poverty
and improve quality of life for people across the country. We can do all
this while recognizing and respecting treaty and other rights of Indigenous
peoples, and bringing better services to First Nations and the North. We
can bring internet access, digital training and support to every corner of the
country. And we can support our seniors and strengthen our communities in
YES, WE’RE THINKING BIG.
WE CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO.
A revitalized Canada Post can lead the way; read on to see how. If you
want a renewable energy infrastructure, affordable banking and financial
services, diversified delivery services including food, expanded elder
care and a stronger local community and economy, join the Delivering
Community Power campaign today.
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN
Many Canadians see Canada Post as a place to mail a care package, buy
stamps, pick up online purchases, or buy the latest commemorative coin.
Some consider the post office past its prime: the last decade has seen
efforts to cut, devalue and undermine this self-sustaining public service.
But the cuts have been fiercely resisted by people across the country, and
we stopped the Harper-era cuts. It’s time to think about growth and not
What if our cherished national institution, with its vast physical
infrastructure and millions of daily human interactions, could offer us
more? What if the post office could play a central role in building our
next economy — an economy that is more stable, more equal, and less
It’s a powerful vision but we will need support to make it happen.
Will you join us?
• Charging stations for electric vehicles at
• A renewable energy postal fleet
• Postal banking that provides inclusive financial
services, especially to those underserved by
commercial banks, like in rural and many
• Door-to-door mail carriers checking in on
seniors and people with mobility issues,
keeping more people in their own homes for
• Post offices as community hubs for digital
access and social innovation, connecting
communities and climate-friendly businesses
• A consolidated last-mile delivery service that
eases congestion in urban centres and reduces
the environmental impact of our cities
We want a 100% renewable economy that
addresses inequality, empowers us to make change,
and improves our lives.
Our post office can deliver it.
Meet the 21st century post office
Mary is going to her rural post office in Tatamagouche,
Nova Scotia, to mail a letter. Things have really changed
over the past few years.
Outside, her neighbour’s electric car is plugged into
the post office’s public charging station. Next to it, a rural
mail carrier is loading food and other products into a new
electric Canada Post delivery van. On the post office’s
roof are solar panels, and a wall display tracks how much
power they’re generating.
Stepping inside, Mary sees a poster for programs
that make solar panels and energy-saving home retrofits
available to everyone. As the clerk takes Mary’s parcel at
the counter, she explains that the post office is once again
offering banking services, providing the community with
accessible banking and helping local businesses grow
A week later, Mary heads back to the post office to
sign up for solar panels. There is a lot of activity at the
post office today as a group of young students are using
the free community space to network and brainstorm
their ideas for the community, and sharing the space with
a local artisan’s pop-up retail kiosk.
On the way out, she’s greeted by a postal worker who
just completed his route, which included checking in with
some of the local independent-living seniors and those
with limited mobility.
He reminds Mary that there are more options now
that the post office is helping make broadband internet
available in the area, extending farther than the big forprofit telecoms are willing to go.
Canada Post’s vast infrastructure and delivery
network has the potential to become the hub of a
green and social economy. Here’s how we could do it:
Transition the Canada Post fleet to 100% renewable energy.
Canada Post has the largest public vehicle fleet in the country.
Infrastructure funding and wise investment from Canada Post’s
profits could add to the nationwide electric vehicle charging
network — supporting a general shift to low-carbon vehicles.
Postal electric vehicles could use new charging stations at depots
and post offices that would serve the general public too.
Retrofit Canada Post buildings for energy efficiency. This could
create local jobs, support apprenticeships and help inspire
communities to take further action on energy and resource
Offer financial services through the post office again. Postal
Banking would diversify and stabilize Canada Post’s revenues the
way it has done for numerous postal services worldwide. And with
some of that revenue, the postal bank could have a social service
mandate: to offer a better alternative to payday loans, support
local businesses, ensure financial access for people currently
underserved by the banks.
“Meeting our climate commitments
requires a bold vision, and public
support for that vision. By working
closely with communities, Canada
Post could deliver green innovation
in ways that address their concerns
and meet their needs.”
Expand door-to-door delivery services. Door-to-door delivery of
parcels and lettermail by a single mail carrier reduces emissions,
compared to every customer driving to pick up their mail.
Expand services to support seniors, people with disabilities,
and others who need some support to live independently in
their homes. Mail carriers, already the eyes and ears of their
neighbourhoods, could check in on seniors, and connect residents
to other public health and social services.
Turn post offices into community and digital access hubs.
Local entrepreneurs can use the post office as a meeting space or
pop-up shop to connect with customers,and the post office could
also become a uniquely dependable showcase of local quality
products. Post offices could help bring affordable internet access,
and digital training and support to the 3.4 million Canadians who
lack it. And in some communities the post office could be the
place to use high-speed internet for those who don’t have access
WHY CANADA POST?
What would you do if you owned…
• The biggest chain of retail outlets in the country?
• A way to easily communicate and connect with
every household from coast to coast to coast?
• A logistics network that can reach people and
move materials to every corner of the world’s
We own it. Canada Post isn’t just a mail and parcel delivery service; it’s a
powerful national logistics network that could address some of our most
pressing challenges, such as:
• climate change
• supporting an aging population to live
• providing financial services to remote and
• using revenues to help fund other public
And the Canada Post Act, which created the service, mandates the postal
service to adapt to our communications needs as they change.
“Postal workers operate a network
every day that connects everybody
in the country with services that they
rely on. We know our neighbours and
our customers and we see their needs.
The urgency for action on climate
change is evident in our work. We’re
proud of the service and we know its
potential. We just need the support
to make it a reality.”
Canadian union of postal workers
For longer than Canada has been a country,
Canada Post has provided the same world-class
service to everyone in the country. By reinventing
our post office as the engine of the next economy,
we will connect people and communities into the
As lettermail decreases and parcels rise with the explosion of e-commerce,
Canada Post has to respond and adapt. We can make sure that the shift
serves our real changing needs, and addresses climate change too. This is
Plus, some of these ideas would even help boost Canada Post’s revenues or
save costs — helping to keep the service financially self-sustaining.
LOGISTICS IN THE DIGITAL WORLD
The growth of the internet has had far-reaching changes on most people’s
lives. For Canada Post, it has led to a decline in the amount of letters
delivered, but also an explosion of parcel deliveries due to online shopping.
And there’s the opportunity: as a cherished institution with unparallelled
presence in communities large and small, the largest fleet and retail
network of anyone, Canada Post could be the instrument to retool our
society for a major environmental shift.
The explosion of parcels also means that in big cities worldwide, city streets
are increasingly congested by deliveries. Too many different deliveries are
being done by vehicles that aren’t filled to capacity, adding to congestion
and air pollution.
Canada Post should be used to the fullest by government to reduce traffic
in major urban areas. Getting everything delivered with fewer vehicles must
become a priority. Canada Post already already delivers the “last mile”
for many large parcel companies in many rural areas. The Belgian Post is
pioneering a similar service in cities.
INSPIRED BY INNOVATIONS IN POSTAL SERVICES
The United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Brazil and Italy all have
successful postal banking services that assist rural, remote and low income
communities while providing stable revenues for the postal service.
Russia, China and India are now implementing postal banking.
Japan expanded postal worker service to provide assistance to seniors,
deliver food, check in on those with limited mobility. And they offer
Swiss Post combined public transportation with mail transport in rural
areas. The Post also offers online payment processing for businesses.
The German postal service, Deutsche Post, is now manufacturing an
electric delivery vehicle in three sizes. They developed their own custom
vehicle, the Streetscooter, specifically to deliver mail and parcels.
Australia Post acts as an alternative to Paypal.
Poste ItalIane provides e-commerce services for businesses.
The French post office has many similarities to Canada Post — fewer
letters, and an increasing number of parcels. La Poste has risen to the
challenge of a changing world through embarking on the provision of new
services, all the while maintaining to-the-door, six-day-a-week delivery. The
French postal bank is enormously profitable, earning profits before tax of
1.1 billion Euros in 2017. But it doesn’t stop there, as La Poste has embarked
on new services focused on the “silver economy” — such as checking in on
seniors using delivery agents.
“In Germany, many municipalities
now produce more power from
renewable sources than they
consume — creating 400,000 new
jobs in the process. Widespread local
participation was the key to making
that transition happen. Canada
Post and postal banking can help
bring this same approach to Canada,
speeding the transition to renewables
in ways that directly benefit local
-Dr. Hans Thie
Advisor to Die Linke
Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
Postal banking is relatively straightforward: like the big banks you’re used
to, post offices can provide everyday financial services like chequing and
savings accounts, loans and insurance. In many countries, postal banks are
also mandated to provide financial access for all citizens and to play a role
in addressing social inequalities.
While hundreds of thousands of Canadians don’t have bank accounts at all,
Canada’s six largest banks earned more than $42 Billion in 2017. Access to
banking is particularly limited for Indigenous communities; only 54 of 615
First Nations are served by local bank branches.
About 2 million people a year in Canada use payday lenders, which often
charge interest rates of over 400%.
Every year, workers in Canada transfer billions of dollars in remittances
overseas, but the cost of sending money can be as high as 20% on
smaller amounts. These high rates hurt the people that depend upon them
“Rural Canada needs better services, especially
in over 1200 communities where we have a public
post office and there are no banks or credit unions.
For example, in Welshpool, New Brunswick, people
have to take a ferry to the US and then cross back
into Canada just to get to a bank! Why should rural
residents have to travel for hours when they could
just go to their Postmaster?”
National President, Canadian postmasters and
Postal banking could provide the financial services that everyone needs
at affordable rates.
It could also be used to deliver government loans, grants and subsidies to
boost renewable energy development and energy-saving retrofits.
By offering banking services through its network of over 6000 postal
outlets, Canada Post could overnight become the most accessible bank in
WHAT WOULD POSTAL BANKING LOOK LIKE HERE?
• access to financial services for everyone including
savings and loan, insurance, investments
• public-interest mandate for financial inclusion
• better rates on international remittances
production. Retrofitting. Better
rural services. Assistance for seniors.
When I look at this proposal, I see
the potential for thousands of good
jobs, in every community across the
country. Let’s make it happen.”
executive vice president, Canadian labour congress
Purchasing Canadian union-made electric cars and vans for the postal
fleet could create jobs for auto workers and mechanics, boosting our
ELECTRIC VEHICLE INFRASTRUCTURE
Turning post offices into charging stations for electric cars would help build
Canada’s green infrastructure.
Post offices could become community internet providers in underserved areas,
provide services like 3D printing, support for e-Government services like the
census, and could provide connectivity through mobile devices as well.
FINANCING COMMUNITIES AND CLEAN ENERGY
Providing access to credit via a postal bank to those dependent on
seasonal, precarious, or low-income work can stop predatory payday
lenders, while communities could access one-stop support for clean
energy grants, energy-efficient heating systems, green power generation
and cost-saving retrofits.
SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT-LIVING SENIORS
In some locations in Canada as well as in France and Japan, postal workers
check in on seniors and others who need support to live independently in
their homes. We could roll out a national program to help connect Canada’s
aging population with healthcare and social services; deliver grocery orders;
and bring peace of mind to their loved ones.
Canada Post offices could connect innovative local businesses to customers
and communities through the largest retail network in the country.
NATION-TO-NATION CONNECTIONS AND SERVICES
Indigenous peoples have been rising up as
defenders of the land, fighting for a greater voice
so as to guide us all on the path to our sustainable
future. Canada Post began as a part of the colonial
system — we have to recognize that as our starting
point and acknowledge that Indigenous peoples
have a right to reshape it and help determine
its future role in connecting the peoples who
Meanwhile postal and other services to First Nations, and many Métis and
Inuit populations, are often lacking. Postal services themselves, which
should serve all residents of this land evenly, are inconsistent, franchised
out, and delivered differently in many indigenous communities. In the North,
Canada Post has cut back service in many ways, including eliminating flat
rate pre-paid shipping boxes, and even withdrawing services from some
The federal government requires Canada Post to be financially self-sufficient, but this doesn’t mean it couldn’t make basic services a priority,
using the postal network to promote health and equity for residents on
reserves and in the North.
Canada Post used to operate the Food Mail program, which helped make
healthy food more affordable in the North, but the program was replaced
with Nutrition North, which subsidizes retailers instead and isn’t getting
reliable results. Bringing back an improved version of Food Mail could make
a real difference in the health and food security of northern residents.
“Boom and bust resource extraction
has polluted our communities
and spoiled much of our lands.
But Indigenous peoples are at the
forefront fighting for alternatives.
Jobs that don’t destroy our land and
water. Affordable access to renewable
energy, banking services and secure
healthy local food. This proposal
will make a difference in First
Nations and rural communities
across the country.”
stop it at the source campaigner, 350.org
Payday loans and predatory credit services take advantage of vulnerable
populations, disproportionately hurting Indigenous people. Postal banking,
with a mandate for financial inclusion for all, could address financial
problems for many vulnerable people instead of leaving them to rely on the
for-profit legal loan sharks, trapped in a cycle of debt.
Canada Post’s workforce still under-represents the Indigenous population.
CUPW is working to push Canada Post to adopt more inclusive hiring
practices. The Delivering Community Power vision cannot be complete until
access to jobs is equitable and the systemic racism and suppression of
traditional teachings is addressed. We’ll need everyone’s wisdom to make
We know this is an ambitious package of proposals.
With the will and energy, we could start on a few parts of the vision
• public-access EV charging stations
• green building retrofits
• promoting post offices as community hubs that
are responsive to community needs
• senior check-in
• grocery delivery
… others within a year or two:
• electric vehicle fleet transformation, supporting
canadian auto plants in producing EVs
• postal banking
• consolidated last-mile delivery
• bring back the Food Mail program
• review and improve services to First Nations
and Inuit communities
• rural and remote high-speed internet access
… then one day:
• overhauled food distribution network
• carbon-free, renewable and self-sufficient
energy network for the postal system
WHAT POSTAL WORKERS ARE DOING
TO REALIZE THIS VISION
• We are building political will for change — bringing together more and
more allies, municipalities, and activists to endorse the Delivering
Community Power vision
• We walk the walk. CUPW has audited its own environmental footprint
and identified areas to mitigate it in its buildings, its transportation,
and other operations. We are ready to lead by example.
• CUPW has included the ideas in this document — postal banking,
electric fleet transformation, building retrofits, and the rest — as
demands in negotiations with Canada Post, putting the vision right at
the heart of the union’s work.
• CPAA is mobilizing with rural residents in our communities to keep rural
post offices open and fight the reduction of services.
• CPAA is vigorously campaigning for postal banking and raising
awareness among Postmasters, Assistants, and rural communities.
• We’re working on tools for postal workers to work with local Canada
Post management to pursue these ideas in their own workplaces. Direct
collective action in communities helps build the political will to make
a large-scale transformation. Postal workers are trying to create joint
environmental committees in the workplace.
WHAT IS A JOINT ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE?
Joint environmental committees are a forum where workers and employers
come together to analyse the environmental impact of a workplace. They
then map out solutions based on the knowledge and skills of the people who
know the workplace best – the workers who do the job everyday. Workers
identify areas where work practices can be modified to reduce emissions,
providing bottom-up solutions instead of attempted top-down solutions.
In Europe, many unions have lengthy experience and successes with joint
environmental committees. Autoworkers in Canada are working with the
model. It’s time for Canada Post to use the expertise of postal workers to
make meaningful reductions in emissions.
Delivering Community Power is a bold vision for
the future we want. To make it a reality, we need
people across the country to let the government
know it’s time to act.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Join us. Visit www.DeliveringCommunityPower.ca to join the
call for Canada Post to Deliver Community Power.
Bring the campaign to your community!
• Join or host a local event
• Collect petition signatures & show your MP that it’s what
• Request free copies of this booklet to share with friends,
Support your postal workers in their negotiations
with Canada Post — they’ve put these proposals on the
• a renewable-powered postal fleet that delivers mail, parcels,
groceries, and more
• a minimized carbon footprint for a network that reaches all of us
• an expanded role for door-to-door mail carriers that strengthens
the social fabric of your community
• post offices as hubs for green innovation and community
connections, connecting local services with customers, and helping
fill the rural broadband service gap
• postal banking, providing financial services that are here to stay
in small towns, and financial inclusion for marginalized urban
• Canada Post leading the green energy transition
We must move now toward a renewable and
sustainable economy that addresses social
inequality, respects worker democracy, and
delivers the goods and services we need.
The post office can deliver it.
THE ABOVE CONTENT IS A PORTION OF A LARGER DOCUMENT. DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE PDF HERE.