Sees issues for businesses
SUMMERSIDE – The Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce sees Canada Post cuts as a double-edged sword.
“Our first response would be, as a chamber, we’ve been advocating for all levels of government to be more fiscally responsible,” said chamber president Patrick McSweeney. “So, when we see Canada Post has huge losses which are being subsidized by us, the taxpayer, in both personal, corporate and business taxes, we say ‘yes’ they have that requirement and responsibility to become more fiscally responsible.”
He said this could change the way members conduct their businesses.
“Unfortunately, that probably is going to mean the cost to our members, our businesspeople, their costs for business are going up because the cost of stamps is going up,” McSweeney said. “Some of our members are going to say since the cost of business is going up they may look for alternatives to get their products, their invoices, their mail to their members. So, we see our members being affected by cost.
He said another area where members may be affected would be a delay in the service.
“It’s hard for us to go to the federal government and say to be fiscally responsible and then be critical of a Crown corporation that is trying to do that. If they don’t reduce their costs, as a businessperson, does that mean my stamps are going to go to $3 instead of $1? If they continue to try and offer the same service they’re offering into the rural areas, how do they get the revenue back for that?”
McSweeney didn’t think that a simple reduction in mail service would solve the financial problems facing Canada Post.
“Delivering maybe three days a week, in my mind, does that reduce the cost?” he asked. “Whatever they can do. If they can look at alternatives to become more fiscally responsible, we would encourage them to do that.”
Unfortunately, what this could be is one of those things that just keeps snowballing,” McSweeney said. “If our members finds ways to deliver their product, that means Canada Post makes that much less money and has to put the cost up again. It certainly could spiral.”
He said this may be an opportunity for private industry to get involved or service clubs. “We have Meals on Wheels. Mmaybe some volunteer group or club could volunteer and pick up mail for seniors,” he said. “Our message is they have to be fiscally responsible but our members costs may go up and as businesspeople we’ll have to make the business decision as whether we continue to use that service?”