© Paul Hutchings
Cyril Goodyear of Deer Lake believes Canada Post practices are discriminatory to those living in rural areas.
DEER LAKE — For the last few weeks, local author Cyril Goodyear has been seeking answers to questions he has in the wake of several announced changes at Canada Post which he believes discriminate against smaller areas.
The Deer Lake senior has been writing letters to the mail corporation since October when he discovered a fee increase in his yearly mailbox rental, from $130 per year to nearly $170. Goodyear sent a letter directly to Deepak Chopra, Canada Post president and CEO dated Oct. 17 in which he told Chopra that as far as he was concerned, people living outside urban areas are discriminated against.
He said in the letter that he rents a mailbox because he lives alone, someone else picks up his mail for him, and he doesn’t understand why he has to see a fee increase.
Urban centres, he said, get their mail delivered without charge while in smaller rural areas they see charges.
He told The Western Star that he’ll continue looking for answers as long as he can. The fee increase, he said, gave him the impetus to start his writing campaign.
“It’s not so much about (my fee increase) as it is about how they’re servicing small areas,” he said. “The larger towns have mail delivered right to their door, while we have to drive to a post office and get our own. It’s not right.”
Goodyear offered suggestions in his correspondence for saving money to Canada Post.
“There is so much they could do to help them and all they can think of is to raise the price of stamps to a dollar,” Goodyear said. “There’s a simple solution and I can’t believe they haven’t thought of it.”
He suggested in his letter to Chopra that Canada Post charge all urban dwellers a nominal fee of $1 per month for delivery which he claims would earn Canada Post “millions of dollars” each year.
Goodyear received a response on Nov. 12 to his suggestion from Jacques Cote, Canada Post group president of the physical delivery network. Cote told him that there is a free service available to all Canadians and Goodyear chose to go with a rented postal box, which means he’ll be charged fees.
With regard to Goodyear’s suggestion, Cote said that with a decline in mail volume it would not be feasible to expand home delivery to every address in Canada. Also, he said, Canada Post’s operations are funded by revenues generated by products and services, not taxpayer dollars.
Canada Post national media relations advisor John Caines said the postal service has a plan in place to get back on track following recent revelations that the corporation has hit some difficult financial times. Goodyear’s convenience fees, he admitted, may very well have gone up, but a free service is available to all Canadians to get their mail, regardless of where they live.
“We are not discriminating against anyone here, if you choose to rent a postal box, that’s convenience and you’ll pay for it,” he said. “But the free service has not stopped, no one is being charged for their mail if they do not want to be.”
Goodyear said he has been in contact with Humber MHA Dwight Ball and local MP Gerry Byrne. Neither were available for comment.