December 14, 2007 13:33 ET

"Saving Santa": Canada Post Instituting New Practices to Ensure Santa's Mail Gets Through

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 14, 2007) - Canada Post today announced new security measures aimed at ensuring the integrity of its popular annual volunteer Santa Letter-writing program.

"We were absolutely horrified at the news yesterday that some recipients in the Ottawa area of mail from Santa have received very inappropriate letters," said Moya Greene, the president and chief executive officer of Canada Post." We apologize again to those families affected and are taking every step possible - including cooperating fully with police - to find the people who did this and to ensure there are no repetitions."

In the last day, Canada Post has received nine reports of families receiving mail with inappropriate messages - all within the National Capital Region. A 10th such letter was discovered within a local sorting plant after the program was temporarily suspended within the region and inspections were instituted of all outgoing Santa mail. In addition, Canada Post has today received four new reports of inappropriate letters. In each case, the letters and envelopes have been turned over for investigation. Because of this, Canada Post is urging parents of children within the NCR area who have written to Santa to open the responses themselves before passing them on to their children.

With Christmas just 10 days away, and Santa's mail still flooding the Canadian mail stream, Cindy Daoust, the director of the Santa mail program, described new measures that have been put in place, effective immediately, to provide safeguards while allowing the volunteer force of more than 11,000 current and former Canada Post employees to keep the Santa mail moving.

"We are now ensuring that we have a full record of the names of each letter-writer alongside the volunteer handling the response," said Ms. Daoust. "We will keep a master list or sign-off sheet that will allow us to track who is responsible for each letter."

Class letters will be logged in the same manner, so that information on either the school or teacher is recorded with volunteer identifying information. A permanent logging and tracking process will be included in next year's program.

Because the temporary suspension of Santa mail in the area puts at risk the on-time delivery of such mail to children before Christmas, Canada Post is also launching an internal "Save Santa" campaign, soliciting additional volunteer help from employees to help write and ship mail under the new practises. "With this extra help, we will do our utmost to reach every child before Christmas," said Ms. Daoust.

As part of related measures, Canada Post employees are working to extract Santa-related mail that is already in the system in the Ottawa area so that it can be checked for content. Canada Post has also extended the hours of operation of call centres covering the Ottawa area in order to handle related potential complaints or queries.

"This program has handled tens of millions of letters over the past quarter century around the world without complaint," said Ms. Daoust. "We are determined to ensure that level of service, and also to ensure that the dedicated efforts of our volunteers are not unfairly tarnished by these incidents.

"We send out more than a million letters from Santa a year worldwide. One or two Grinches can't stop Christmas from arriving, or Santa's letters being delivered."

Canada Post is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for sending and receiving the most letters to Santa worldwide.

Contact Information

  • Canada Post
    Media Relations
    613 734-8847