September 12, 2009 10:41 ET

Government of Canada Introduces New Canadian Postal Service Charter

ILDERTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2009) - Canadians will benefit from a new Service Charter for Canada Post following today's announcement by the Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport). The Government of Canada created the Service Charter to outline its expectations concerning Canada Post's service and makes these expectations known to Canadians. The new Service Charter covers universal service, rates, delivery, access to postal services, security, outreach and consultation, and response to complaints.

"Canadians deserve a universal, effective and economically viable postal service," said Minister Merrifield. "That is why we are introducing the new Service Charter, stating our expectation that Canada Post will provide postal services that Canadians can count on, maintain rural service and protect the mail," he added.

The provision of postal services to rural regions of the country is an integral part of Canada Post's universal service. As such, the Government of Canada is maintaining the moratorium on the closure of rural post offices.

Canada Post will report each year on its performance against the Government's expectations. The Government of Canada will review the Service Charter every five years.

The full text of the Canadian Postal Service Charter is attached. Copies can also be obtained by telephoning 1 800 0-Canada between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, or online at:

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The Canada Post Corporation was created to provide a standard of postal service that meets the needs of the people of Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring transparency in how Canada Post provides quality postal services to all Canadians, rural and urban, individuals and businesses, in a secure and financially self-sustaining manner.

The Government has therefore established the Canadian Postal Service Charter to describe its expectations regarding Canada Post's service standards and related activities in providing postal services that meet the needs of consumers of postal services in Canada. These expectations are not intended to modify or derogate from Canada Post's obligations as set out in the Canada Post Corporation Act or any other legislation.

Universal Service

1. Canada Post will maintain a postal system that allows individuals and businesses in Canada to send and receive mail within Canada and between Canada and elsewhere. Canada Post will provide a service for the collection, transmission and delivery of letters, parcels and publications

2. The provision of postal services to rural regions of the country is an integral part of Canada Post's universal service.

Affordable Rates

3. Canada Post will charge uniform postage rates for letters of similar size and weight, so that letters to Canadian addresses will require the same postage, regardless of the distance to reach the recipient.

4. As required by the Canada Post Corporation Act, Canada Post will charge postage rates that are fair and reasonable and, together with other revenues, are sufficient to cover the costs incurred in its operations.

5. Canada Post will provide advance notice of and publicly advertise proposed pricing changes for regulated letter mail products and consult with consumers during the rate-setting process.

Frequent and Reliable Delivery

6. Canada Post will deliver letters, parcels and publications five days a week (except for statutory holidays) to every Canadian address, except in remote areas where less frequent service may be necessary due to limited access to the community.

7. Canada Post will deliver to every address in Canada. This may be delivery to the door, a community mail box, group mail box, a rural mail box, a postal box, general delivery at the post office or delivery to a central point in apartment/office buildings.

8. Canada Post will deliver letter mail:

- Within a community within two business days;

- Within a province within three business days; and

- Between provinces within four business days.

Convenient Access to Postal Services

9. Canada Post will provide an extensive network for accessing postal services that includes retail postal outlets, stamp shops and street letterboxes, as well as access to information and customer service through the Canada Post's website and call centres.

10. Canada Post will provide retail postal outlets, including both corporate post offices and private dealer operated outlets which are conveniently located and operated, so that:

- 98 percent of consumers will have a postal outlet within 15 km;

- 88 percent of consumers will have a postal outlet within 5 km; and

- 78 percent of consumers will have a postal outlet within 2.5 km.

11. The moratorium on the closure of rural post offices is maintained. Situations affecting Canada Post personnel (e.g., retirement, illness, death, etc.) or Canada Post infrastructure (e.g., fire or termination of lease, etc.) may, nevertheless, affect the ongoing operation of a post office.

Secure Delivery

12. Canada Post will take into consideration the security and privacy of the mail in every aspect of mail collection, transmission and delivery.

Community Outreach and Consultation

13. Where Canada Post plans to change delivery methods Canada Post will communicate, either in person or in writing, with affected customers and communities at least one month in advance to explain decisions and explore options that address customer concerns.

14. At least one month before deciding to permanently close, move or amalgamate corporate post offices, Canada Post will meet with affected customers and communities to jointly explore options and find practical solutions that address customer concerns.

15. Each year, Canada Post will hold an Annual Public Meeting open to the public to provide an opportunity for the public to express views, ask questions and provide feedback to Canada Post.

Responding to Complaints

16. Canada Post will establish and promulgate complaint resolution processes that are easily accessible to customers and will address complaints in a fair, respectful and timely manner.

17. The Canada Post Ombudsman will investigate complaints about compliance with the Canadian Postal Service Charter in situations where customers remain unsatisfied after they have exhausted Canada Post's complaint resolution processes.

Reporting on Performance

18. Each year in its Annual Report, Canada Post will report on its performance against each of the expectations in this Canadian Postal Service Charter.

19. In addition, Canada Post will present in its Annual Report an overview of the delivery methods it uses, indicating the number of addresses served with each delivery method and the financial costs associated with each method of delivery.

Reviewing the Charter

20. The Government will review the Canadian Postal Service Charter every five years after its adoption to assess the need to adapt the Charter to changing requirements.

This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.

Contact Information

  • Chris Hilton
    Office of Minister of State (Transport)
    Rob Merrifield, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    Transport Canada, Ottawa