Public Values

OECD report touts privatizing Canada Post, power utilities

Netherlands post office deregulated, now has decreased profits, higher postal rates.

Retired postal workers replying to letters to Santa ClausA recent report from the Paris–based Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) calling for the privatization of Canada Post and power utilities has prompted the president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) to write a letter to the editor of the Financial Post which ran a story on the report.

OECD's web site claims that it "brings together the governments of countries committed to democracy and the market economy from around the world to support sustainable economic growth, boost employment, raise living standards, maintain financial stability, assist other countries' economic development, contribute to growth in world trade. The Organisation provides a setting where governments compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice and coordinate domestic and international policies."

In the recent report Canada was urged to boost competition in "network" sectors such as telecommunications and power utilities as well as "liberalize postal services by eliminating legislated monopoly protections and privatizing Canada Post." It also encourages reducing restrictions to foreign investment and ownership.

Letter to the editor:
CUPW National President responds to "Canada Post should be privatized: OECD" March 10, 2010

Re: "Canada Post should be privatized: OECD," March 10, 2010.

The OECD says our post office should be privatized and deregulated because "the Netherlands in particular has had considerable success in ending a government monopoly." Really? The last time we checked, the Netherlands' post office (TNT) posted a 58 per cent decrease in profits in 2010, laid off 15% of their workforce and charged 19 per cent more than Canada for standard stamps in a country which is larger than Vancouver Island but smaller than Nova Scotia. Forget the smoke and mirrors brought to you by an OECD 2009 recommendation that somehow became today's news. Canada Post is a public sector success story with one of the cheapest stamps in the G8. Not bad for a country this size.

Denis Lemelin
CUPW National President

Links and sources
  OECD notes on Canada (pdf download)

Posted: March 24, 2010

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