Con­ser­va­tives qui­etly cut ser­vices to con­sumers

Southwest Booster - - OPINION -

To the ed­i­tor: In his Speech from the Throne this fall, Mr. Harper said he wanted to put the needs of con­sumers first by en­sur­ing they re­ceive bet­ter and more com­pet­i­tive costs and by cre­at­ing more jobs for Cana­di­ans. Barely a few weeks later, and just be­fore the hol­i­days, his gov­ern­ment qui­etly an­nounced — one day af­ter Par­lia­ment was ad­journed — that con­sumers will pay more in or­der to get fewer ser­vices from Canada Post, and that thou­sands of peo­ple will lose their jobs.

Cana­di­ans are wor­ried, and rightly so. Rate and ser­vice changes are be­ing forced on them with­out any mean­ing­ful con­sul­ta­tion – and at a time when their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives are un­able to de­mand an ex­pla­na­tion on their be­half.

Canada Post pro­vides an es­sen­tial ser­vice that must, un­doubt­edly, adapt and keep up with the times to meet con­stantly chang­ing de­mands. But the changes made to this Crown cor­po­ra­tion should never be glossed over hastily, with­out any dis­cus­sion or real con­sul­ta­tion, in the hope that no one will no­tice.

Canada Post af­fects the daily lives of ev­ery­one, and the gov­ern­ment has a duty to prop­erly in­form the pub­lic about the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion of our postal ser­vices.

The Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment has an al­ready alarm­ing record when it comes to man­ag­ing any­thing re­lated to Canada Post, even though the cor­po­ra­tion pro­vides a vi­tal ser­vice to small busi­nesses and mid­dle class fam­i­lies across the coun­try. We all re­mem­ber the 2011 strike by Canada Post em­ploy­ees forced back to work at the gov­ern­ment’s or­ders. Once again this week, Mr. Harper and his gov­ern­ment failed to ne­go­ti­ate openly and com­mu­ni­cate rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion to Cana­di­ans who de­serve to know the facts and con­di­tion of their postal ser­vice.

Af­ter this week’s an­nounce­ment, Cana­di­ans have rea­son to doubt this gov­ern­ment’s gen­uine in­ter­est in meet­ing the needs of con­sumers. De­spite the eth­i­cal scan­dals hound­ing him and his of­fice, Mr. Harper is un­will­ing to live by the prin­ci­ples of trans­parency and con­sul­ta­tion. The demo­cratic process ex­ists to en­sure that Cana­di­ans re­ceive gen­uine rep­re­sen­ta­tion and that their elected of­fi­cials are able to de­fend their in­ter­ests in Ottawa. Dur­ing this fall ses­sion, once again, the Con­ser­va­tives did noth­ing to sup­port mid­dle- class fam­i­lies. All that mat­tered to them was cling­ing to power at the ex­pense of con­sumers.

Since the Speech from the Throne, Mr. Harper has beaten all records for in­ac­tion.

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