In fall of 2013 we launched a campaign - you may remember it as the debut of our ten-foot inflatable piggy banks - to advocate for postal banking at Canada Post, as a way to diversify the postal service’s revenues, but also as an opportunity to address financial exclusion and marginalization, and extend services to people and places that the big banks have turned their backs on - small towns, the North, many inner city populations, and urban Indigenous communities.
We weren’t too surprised when the response was, by and large, “please explain to us what postal banking is and why it’s a solution.” We’ve been working with allies since then in our communities, with politicians, in the media, and online to educate people: Postal banking is highly successful all over the world, it’s become a major pillar of the long-term viability of many postal systems, and it’s helped more people get access to financial services – people whom the for-profit banks just aren’t interested in serving.
We are working closely on this with the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants’ Association. Postmasters will be key to making postal banking a success in rural areas.
For more resources and background on our campaign visit www.cupw.ca/postalbanking
We’re getting somewhere: it’s a live issue in federal Parliament. MP Niki Ashton sponsored a petition last year on postal banking, and NDP postal critic Irene Mathyssen has presented motion M-166, a private member’s motion to call on the federal government to study how to implement postal banking, to be debated starting Monday, March 26.
We have many more challenges to overcome in order to get postal banking here, but it will be worth it to secure the long-term health of Canada Post and help address financial inequality. Our current step is to get the federal government to accept what a win-win idea it is and direct Canada Post to use postal banking to secure its viability for the long run.