Canada Post Corporation,
known more simply as Canada Post ( , or simply
Postes Canada), is the Canadian crown corporation which
functions as the country's primary postal operator.
Post Office Department
of the Government of Canada
was founded in
1867 and was rebranded Canada Post
in the late 1960s
though it officially remained the Post Office Department until
October 16, 1981, when the Canada Post Corporation Act came into
force. The act purported to set a new direction for the postal
service, aiming to create a more reliable service and to ensure the
postal service's financial security and independence.
Canada Post trucks in Edmonton
Every business day, Canada Post provides service to 14 million
addresses, delivering 40 million items. Delivery takes place via
traditional "to the door" service by 15,000 letter carriers,
supplemented by approximately 6,000 vehicle routes in rural and
suburban areas, and truck
delivery of parcels
in urban areas. There are 6,800 post offices across the country, a
combination of corporate offices and franchises which are operated
by private retailers in conjunction with a host retail business,
such as a drugstore. In terms of area serviced, Canada Post
delivers to a larger area than the postal service of any other
nation, including Russia (where
service in Siberia is limited
largely to communities along the railroad).
As of 2004,
nearly 843,000 rural Canadian customers received residential mail
On a consolidated basis, the Corporation processed 11.8 billion
pieces during year 2007. Consolidated revenue from operations
reached $7.5 billion and consolidated net income totaled $54
million. To compete effectively, Canada Post operates as a group of
companies called The Canada Post Group. It employs 72,000 full and
part-time employees to deliver a full range of delivery, logistics
and fulfillment services to customers. The Corporation holds an
interest in Purolator Courier
, Progistix-Solutions and
Canada Post International Limited.. In 2000, Canada Post created a
company called Epost, allowed customers to receive their bill
online for free (in 2007, Epost was absorbed into Canada
Canada Post (French: Postes Canada)
Federal Identity Program
name. The legal name is Canada Post Corporation
and Société canadienne
delivery first started in Canada in 1693 when the Portuguese born Pedro da Silva
was paid to deliver mail between Quebec City and Montreal.
The first airmail delivery in
Official postal services began in 1775, under the control of the
up to 1851.
The first postage stamp (designed by Sir Sandford Fleming
) went into circulation in
Canada that same year. It was not until 1867 when the newly formed
Canada created the Post Office Department
as a federal government department (The Act for the Regulation
of the Postal Service) headed by a Cabinet minister, the Postmaster General of
The Act took effect April 1, 1868, providing
uniform postal service throughout the newly established country.
The Canadian post office was designed around the British service as
created by Sir Rowland
, who introduced the concept of charging mail by weight and
not destination along with creating the concept of the postage stamp
Prior to rural mail delivery, many Canadians living outside major
cities and towns had little communication with the outside world.
On 10 October 1908, the first free rural mail delivery service was
instituted in Canada. The extension of residential mail delivery
services to all rural Canadian residents was a major achievement
for the Post Office Department.
The Post Office Department was an early pioneer of airmail
delivery, with the first airmail flight
taking place on June 24, 1918, carrying mail from Montreal to
Toronto. Regular airmail service began in 1928.
The 1970s was a tough decade for the Post Office, with major
strikes combined with annual deficits that had hit $600 million by
1981. This state of affairs made politicians want to rethink their
strategy for the federal department. It resulted in two years of
public debate and input into the future of mail delivery in Canada.
The government sought to give the post office more autonomy, in
order to make it more commercially viable and to compete against
the new threat of private courier services. On October 16, 1981,
the Federal Parliament passed the "Canada Post Corporation
, which transformed Canada Post into a Crown corporation
to create the Canada
Post Corporation (CPC)
. The legislation also includes a
measure that legally guarantees basic postal service to all
Canadians. It stipulates that all Canadians have the right to
expect mail delivery, regardless of where they live.
Several historical sites related to the history of the Post Office
Department of Canada can be visited today. In Ontario, the
Post Office is still in operation. The site of the
Centre was once the Canada Post Delivery Building.
Also notable are the Vancouver Main Post Office
and the Dawson, Yukon, Post Office
, a National Historic Site of
. In Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia, a nineteenth-century lighthouse acts as a seasonal post
office for the tiny coastal community.
||First paid mail delivery within Canada
||British Government begins offering mail service in Canada
||British provincial governments in Canada take control of mail
||Following Confederation, Canada Post is created as a federal
Post joins Universal
||Dr. Maurice Levy invents the automatical postal sorter, which
could handle 200,000 letters per hour.
||Initial implementation of the postal code
||Canada Post Corporation Act is passed by Parliament
||Canada Post is turned into a Crown Corporation
||Canada Post purchases a majority stake in Purolator Courier
||Introduction of the Permanent Stamp, a stamp that is
always worth the basic domestic mailing rate. Canada Post announces
plans to review whether or not to continue rural individual mail
delivery services to 843,000 Canadian customers.
The Ombudman’s logo.
The Office of the Ombudsman at Canada Post
created in October 1997 as a result of the 1995 Canada Post Mandate Review
conducted by an
Advisory Panel appointed by the Canadian government.
is the final appeal
authority in resolving postal service complaints. If a complaint is
not resolved to the customer’s satisfaction by Canada Post, the
customer can appeal to the Ombudsman. Although the Ombudsman has no
legislative power over the Corporation, the recommendations that
the office makes to Canada Post can help improve company processes,
amend policies and reinforce compliance with procedures.
The Ombudsman is independent of Canada Post staff and management,
reporting directly to the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Mrs. Nicole Goodfellow
was appointed on July
14, 2008, as the third and current Ombudsman at Canada Post. The
services offered by the Office of the Ombudsman are free of
Any letter sent within Canada has the destination address
on the centre of its envelope, with a
, meter label, or frank
the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of
postage. A return address
it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the
envelope in smaller type than the destination address.
Official addressing protocol is for the address to be in block letters
, using a fixed-pitch typeface
(such as Courier). The first line(s) of the address contains the
personal name and internal address of the recipient. The
second-to-last line is the post office box, general delivery
indicator, or street address, using the shortened name of the
street type and no punctuation. The last line consists of the legal
place name, a single space, the two-letter province abbreviation,
two full spaces, and then the postal code
. The country
designation is unnecessary if mailed within Canada.
the provided name is fictitious
10-321 1/2 RUE CHARLES OUEST
MONTRÉAL QC H3Z 2Y7
1234 MAIN ST
PO BOX 4001 STN A
VICTORIA BC V8X 3X4
1234 7TH CONCESSION
SITE 6 COMP 10
RR 8 STN MAIN
MILLARVILLE AB T0L 1K0
GD STN MAIN
WALKERTON ON N0G 2V0
Major products and services
The Corporation has a directory of all its products and services
called the Postal Guide
and has divided its range of
services into three main categories: Transaction Mail, Parcels and
service allows the transmission of
virtually any paper document. The basic rate is currently set at 54
cents for one standard letter (30g or less) and is regulated by a
price-cap formula, linked to the inflation rate. The Corporation
has recently introduced a “permanent” stamp that retains its value
forever, eliminating the need to buy 1 cent stamps after a rate
increase. The rates for lettermail are based on weight and size and
determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned
standard format, or in the oversize one.
The rates for services have generally been increasing above the
rate of inflation. An exception is the rate for basic domestic
letters for which Canada Post maintains that Canada has one of the
lowest rates in the world because government regulation caps
increases for this at below inflation.
Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost
It can only contain paper documents (See Light Packet and Small
Packet below). The rate for a standard letter is 98 cents if sent
to the United States and $1.65 if sent to any other
A Canada Post delivery truck in
Canada Post offers four domestic parcel services. The rates are
based on distance, weight and size. The maximum acceptable weight
is 30 kg.
Four domestic parcel services
||Delivery time ranges from 2 to 9 days depending on the
||Available only to business customers.
|Delivery time ranges from 1 to 7 days depending on the
||Is a service for parcels and documents.
|Delivery time ranges from 1 to 2 days between major
|Priority: Next A.M.
||Is a service for parcels and documents.
|Provides next day service between major centres.
- Compensates for the fact that goods are prohibited in the
letterpost(regular mail) service.
- Maximum weight is 500 g. Maximum dimensions are
380 mm × 270 mm × 20 mm.
- Rates based on weight and destination (USA or
- Air and surface services are available.
- Maximum weight is 1 kg (USA) and 2 kg
Expedited Parcel USA
- Available for items sent to American addresses only.
- Despite its name, does not provide any service guarantee.
- The maximum acceptable weight is 30 kg.
- It is cheaper than the standard international rate.
Xpresspost-USA and International
- Provides speedy and guaranteed delivery to addresses in the
- Provides accelerated delivery to certain countries.
- Maximum weight is 30 kg (USA) and 20 to 30 kg
(depending on the international destination).
- Air and surface service available.
- Provides delivery to countries to which Xpresspost is not
- Partnered with FedEx.
- Delivers overnight to the US and to more than 220 countries in
2-3 business days with detailed tracking.
- Promotional mailings targeted to specific residents.
- Minimum quantity of 1,000 articles.
- Consists of printed matter and product samples that are not
addressed to specific delivery addresses in Canada, but to specific
neighbourhoods or cities.
- Canada Post uses a 13 character barcode for their pre-printed
labels. Bar codes consist of two letters, followed by eight
sequence digits, and a ninth digit which is the check digit. The
last two characters are the letters CA. The check digit seems to
ignore the letters and only concern itself with the first 8 numeric
digits. The scheme is to multiply each of those 8 digits by a
different weighting factor, (8 6 4 2 3 5 9 7). Add up the total of
all of these multiplications and divide by 11. The remainder after
dividing by 11 gives a number from 0 to 10. Subtracting this from
11 gives a number from 1 to 11. That result is the check digit,
except in the two cases where it is 10 or 11. If 10 it is then
changed to a 0, and if 11 then it is changed to a 5. The check
digit may be used to verify if a barcode scan is correct, or if a
manual entry of the barcode is correct.
Although Canada Post is responsible for stamp design and
production, the corporation does not actually choose the subjects
or the final designs that appear on stamps. That task falls under
the jurisdiction of the Stamp Advisory Committee. Their objective
is to recommend a stamp program that will have broad-based appeal,
regionally and culturally, reflecting Canadian history, heritage,
Before Canada Post calls a meeting of the committee, it also
welcomes suggestions for stamp subjects from Canadian citizens.
Ideas for subjects that have recently appeared on a stamp are
declined. The committee works two years in advance and can approve
approximately 20 subjects for each year.
Once a stamp subject is selected, Canada Post’s Stamp Products
group conducts research. Designs are commissioned from two firms,
both chosen for their expertise. The designs are presented
anonymously to the committee. The committee’s process and selection
policy have changed little in the thirty years since it was
Elizabeth II definitive stamp
- Ritual of the
Calling of an Engineer
Canada Post has a history of troubled labour relations
with its trade unions
, particularly the Canadian Union of Postal
and the Letter Carriers Union of Canada (which merged
with CUPW in 1989) culminating in periodic strike action
which has brought mail service
in Canada to a halt. There have been at least 19 strikes, lockouts
and walkouts between 1965 and 2005 including several wildcat strikes
. A number of these
strikes have seen the corporation employ strikebreakers and most, since the 1970s, have
resulted in back-to-work legislation being passed by the Canadian
Canada Post was also the setting for one of the most controversial
labour rulings of recent years. After several prosecutions for theft at
Mississauga's Gateway Postal Plant, the union won a ruling from a
labour board that the workers involved could not be dismissed as
the length of the investigation exceeded the ten-day limit in the
collective agreement under which any allegation of misconduct had
to be brought to the attention of the worker.
ruling was reversed on appeal, the Court of Appeal for Ontario
ruled that although the decision may have been incorrect, it was
not so totally without merit that the labour board's decision
should be overturned . The court noted the language was in the
collective agreement to keep supervisors from holding infractions
over the head of a worker indefinitely.
Recently Canada Post had begun to emerge from its labour troubles.
In 2007, it signed a 4 year agreement with CUPW without any labour
disruptions. For 2007, 2008 and 2009 the corporation was named one
of Canada's Top 100
, as published in Maclean's
magazine. In 2008, however, it endured a long strike by its
administrative workers (Public Service Alliance of Canada PSAC
and not Canadian Union of Postal Workers CUPW
compromised customer service.
Safety of rural mobile delivery personnel on busy roads has been an
ongoing concern. Canada Post launched the Rural Mail Safety Review
as rural and suburban mail carriers across the country, supported
by their union, raised complaints about workplace safety. As of
March 2008, there have been more than 1,400 such complaints. In
some cases these union members refused to deliver mail even after
Canada Post tests showed there was no undue traffic safety risk at
a particular mail box. Such cases were referred to Labour Canada,
who in several instances asked Canada Post to cease delivery to
mailboxes. In December 2006, the Canadian government ordered that
Canada Post maintain rural delivery wherever possible.
Moya Greene, Canada Post CEO, has been quoted as saying that years
of under-investment to improve the company has hurt its efficiency
and its financial performance. In September 2007, she estimated
that modernizing the corporation would cost $2.7 billion over five
to seven years for new buildings, equipment, technology and
Letters To Santa
Canada Post receives millions of letters addressed to Santa Claus
each year, with a special dedicated postal
, H0H 0H0 (ho ho ho). About 15,000 current and retired
Canada Post employees respond to each letter received on behalf of
Santa in many languages including braille. Over the past 27 years
more than 15 million letters were written by Canada Post
volunteers. On November 9, 2008, Guinness World Records announced
that Canada Post is the world record holder for most letters
received and replied to by land mail.
In 2001 emails to Santa started being accepted. More than 44,000
emails were responded to in 2006.
In 1974 three Canada Post employees started to respond to mail
addressed to Santa in Montreal, Quebec. In 1982, Canada Post rolled
out the initiative across Canada and pledged that every letter sent
in would be replied to. Canada Post also receives letters to God
and on occasion, the Easter Bunny. These are answered as well. The
first Santa letter to arrive at LMPP London was Wednesday June 3,
- Canada Post Corporation Act - Department of Justice
- Canada Post Corporation Act Part I Section
- Under the price-cap formula approved by the federal government
in 2000, basic letter rate increases, when warranted, will not
exceed 66.67% of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index
from May prior to the last increase to May of the current year.
Increases will be implemented no more than once a year, in January,
and announced no later than July 1 in the year before the increase
goes into effect in the Canada Gazette Part I.
- Canada's Stamp Details, pp.16-17, January to March 2005, Volume
XIV, No. 1
- |LMPP observations answering letters since 1988 by Wayne Ray
and other Canada Post employees