October 23, 2007 16:00 ET

Free Mail to Deployed Troops Starts Friday

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 23, 2007) - As of October 26th, Canada Post will begin providing free delivery of letters and parcels from family and friends to Canadian troops deployed in Afghanistan and elsewhere overseas. While the free parcel service will be for the holiday season only (ending January 11th, 2008), letters will continue to be sent postage-free throughout 2008.

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister responsible for Canada Post, said he hopes the family and friends of Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan and elsewhere overseas take advantage of this special initiative by sending words of encouragement and support. "Canadian men and women serving our country overseas will find joy, love and support in every delivery they receive, while friends and family members will be able to enjoy the benefit of free delivery."

"At Canada Post we want our troops to know how much we appreciate their dedication to our country" said Moya Greene, president and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Post. "Providing free delivery of letters and parcels from their family and friends reinforces our belief in each and every one of those troop members. For family and friends back in Canada, the opportunity to send the many letters and parcels free of charge by Canada Post, is a small blessing when loved ones are so far away from home" she added.

With capacity limitations on military aircraft carrying supplies and munitions to deployed forces, this offer is restricted to family and friends of the deployed service men and women serving overseas in war zones. This includes members of the Canadian Forces serving in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sinai and Jerusalem. Canadian troops serving on any of the deployed Her Majesty's Canadian Ships are also included in the offer.

To ensure the proper custom declaration form and addressing information are used, the letters and parcels must be deposited at one of Canada Post's more than 6,600 full service retail outlets across the country. Letters and packages dropped in regular street letter boxes will be returned to sender as they will not qualify. Once an item has been accepted, it will be forwarded to Canadian Forces bases in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Victoria, British Columbia and Belleville, Ontario. Once delivered to the military bases, the Department of National Defence will take charge of the letters and parcels and ensure their delivery overseas. All mail must be addressed to a specific soldier, including rank and mission information.

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