Canada Post has implemented a rolling strike across the country that, with no end in sight, will see many Canadians citizens go without their mail in the coming weeks of June.
But how will this strike affect the mail carrying business for the long term? Canada Post already faces competition with several privately owned courier companies, and without access to the national mail service, more Canadians will be encouraged to explore online, paperless services.
When there are so many free instant-messaging services available, Canadians will start to ask why they should they ever go back to buying stamps and envelopes and waiting several days for their messages to be delivered by hand. It's easy enough these days to sign-up with paperless billing and direct deposits, or to manage transactions over the phone. Once Canadians make the switch, it seems unlikely that they would ever go back to the wasteful paper-based letter services.
There's no question that the volume of mail being sent in Canada is decreasing.
Companies have their own websites for browsing their catalogues. Start-ups such as Groupon are taking over the coupon industry. Even junk mail is easy enough to get online.
Where snail mail might actually remain relevant in the future however, and where Canada Post could be making efforts to be competitive is in delivering small packages. As online shopping through ebay and Amazon becomes more lucrative and convenient, there will be an increasing reliance on mail carriers to hand-deliver our products.
In the meantime, there are still several services that still rely heavily on Canada Post that will be affected heavily by the strike. It's worth mentioning that some services, Old Age Security (OAS), Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPP Disability) cheques will continue to be delivered by Canada Post once a month. However, clients who receive their Employment Insurance (EI) cheques by mail will need to pick up their cheques at selected Service Canada Centres or alternate distribution centres throughout Canada.
For more comprehensive information on these services, read "What you need to know in the event of a full Postal Strike."