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Conservatives want to ram partial postal deregulation through Parliament

Legislation undermines Canada Post's exclusive privilege to handle letters.

Denis Lemelin - CUPWThe federal government is trying to push partial deregulation of Canada Post through Parliament as part of its omnibus budget bill according to Denis Lemelin, National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).

Bill C-9, An act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 4, 2010 and other measures includes a provision to remove international letters from Canada Post's exclusive privilege to handle letters. It is the Conservative's third attempt to pass legislation deregulating international letters. One bill (C-14) died when the 2008 election was called. Another (C-44) died when Parliament was prorogued in 2009.

"The notion of partially deregulating our public post office wasn't even in the budget," said Lemelin. "But it is a bad budgetary move. It means that Canada Post will have less money to pay taxes and dividends to the government and less money to provide universal public postal service. "

"It appears that the Conservatives have grown impatient with the democratic debate that accompanied earlier bills and have decided to ram deregulation of international letters through Parliament one way or another," said Lemelin.

"This is about as anti-democratic as it gets," said Lemelin. The government's proposal to partially deregulate Canada Post should receive a full and proper debate in Parliament. Unfortunately, this isn't likely to happen now that the deregulation of international letters is one issue among many in an 880 page budgetary bill."

CUPW is urging opposition parties to demand that the government delete the section of Bill C-9 affecting Canada Post. It will also ask the parliamentary committee reviewing the bill to hold hearings on issues relating to the deregulation of international letters.

Posted: April 06, 2010

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