Federal government must review all appointments to Canada Post's Board of Directors

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Friday December 11 2015

Judy Foote 
Minister of Public Services and Procurement 
11 Laurier Street 
Phase 111, Place du Portage 
Gatineau, QC 
K1A 0S5 

Dear Minister Foote: 

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is not at all surprised that Sian Matthews, the current Chair of Canada Post’s Board of Directors, would reject your government’s call for Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra to step aside.

Like other members of the board, Ms. Matthews was herself appointed during the Conservatives’ reign and, according to Elections Canada, she is a long-time contributor to the Conservative Party of Canada. In fact, we urge your government to consider reviewing all of the appointments to Canada Post’s Board of Directors, not just Mr. Chopra’s, as part of the accountability exercise you have promised to undertake.

It was clearly an abuse of process for the Conservatives to renew Mr. Chopra’s contract. We strongly dispute Ms. Matthews’ claims that Deepak Chopra has done a good job of serving Canadians. The facts speak for themselves:

  • Mr. Chopra and the Board of Directors approved a corporate plan to make Canada the only nation in the G8 without home delivery.
  • Mr. Chopra and the Board of Directors approved a completely unnecessary cost and service-cutting plan which burdens municipalities and residents with additional costs due to snow removal, theft, litter, loss of property values, injuries and environmental pollution.
  • Mr. Chopra ignored and dismissed the concerns of the thousands of Canadians and hundreds of municipalities who have spoken out against ending home delivery.
  • Mr. Chopra shut down Canada’s postal system nationwide in 2011, locking out thousands of workers.
  • Mr. Chopra withheld from the Canadian public and censored a study that was conducted on postal banking.
  • Mr. Chopra is violating the privacy and rights of seniors and people with disabilities by forcing them to get doctors’ notes in order to receive door delivery. Canadians will never forget Mr. Chopra’s claim that seniors “need the exercise” of climbing snow banks to get mail.

Prior to Mr. Chopra’s appointment in June 2010, CUPW wrote to the Board of Directors, asking them to consider their criteria carefully before choosing a new President. At that time, we wrote that the President of Canada Post should “be absolutely committed to providing a universal public postal service” and should understand the Crown Corporation’s legislated mandate “to provide and improve postal service while breaking even and ensuring good labour relations.” It is our view that Mr. Chopra and his Board of Directors have done precisely the opposite and have therefore failed to uphold the mandate of Canada Post.

Moving forward into the future, it is crucial that a valuable public institution like Canada Post, our largest Crown Corporation, address the needs of all Canadians. We welcome the forthcoming review as an opportunity to share with you our ideas on the many ways in which Canada Post can remain a thriving public service.

Sincerely,

Mike Palecek
National President
Canadian Union of Postal Workers

 

Cc:           The Right Hon. Justin Trudeau

                  National Executive Board

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