Monday April 21, 2014




EDITORIAL - New reality leads to obsolescence

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Canada Post is making changes, which some might see as dramatic, but really the depth of changes has been brought on by an inability to adapt to the rapidly changing world of communication.

The electronic world has fundamentally changed both how we communicate with one another, and how we do business.

It was only a couple of short decades ago we still lived in a world where people wrote letters, stuffed them in envelopes and mailed them to friends, family and business associates.

Today most of us with struggle with even remembering when we actually penned a letter. Email has replaced the written letter because it is an immediate form of communication, something physical mail can never duplicate.

A chunk of Canada Post business disappeared.

Government once relied on mail to deliver family allowance and pension cheques, creating a huge amount of mail monthly.

Today most government cheques are carried out in digital form with direct deposits.

Banks rarely send out statements.

Many invoices now arrive electronically rather than through the mail.

With each change Canada Post took a hit, and for much of the last couple of decades did a good impression of an ostrich with its head in the sand, simply doing nothing to change.

And now with losses growing, and the looming millstone of massive pensions yet to be paid weighing on the corporation, Canada Post is reacting with a plan which includes phasing out door-to-door service and hiking postage stamp rates.

Many Canadians have never had mail delivered to their door, a service dependent on where you live, rather than something seen as a universally important element of Canada Post. Those people have managed to get and send mail just fine, and the loss of the service for the rest of Canada will be a mild irritant at best.

Stamps prices climbing are no different than rate increases for water, sewer and environmental fees we have seen in the city, or hikes proposed by SaskPower. Costs go up, and since most of us are email savvy these days, the impact on a family budget is likely limited in most cases.

Ultimately, what the changes show is that the technology-driven world we live in is simply making yet another business we once thought critical, increasingly obsolete.

The technology of farm tractors saw blacksmiths all but disappear.

Film cameras, and the businesses which sold them and developed the pictures, have gone by the wayside as digital cameras emerged.

The fax machine is now little more than a relic, the companies which made them having adapted, or failed.

Music CDs have been generally replaced by digital downloads, DVDs for film going the same way.

The writing seems on the wall for paper books as e-readers gain acceptance.

It is a changing world where business needs to evolve quickly to keep pace, or face massive last minute change in an attempt to stave off extinction.

Canada Post is finally taking on the change, and while some might not like what the corporation’s plan is, nothing short of a massive restructuring is likely to save a business whose services are better suited to another era.


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