How Canada Post Can Be The Hub Of Our Next Economy
By: Andrea Harden-Donahue
This post was written by Andrea Harden-Donahue, energy & climate justice campaigner with the Council of Canadians, and originally appeared at canadians.org on February 29.
Today I attended the launch of Delivering Community Power: How Canada Post can be the hub of our next Economy.
It’s an example of a campaign daring to think big. Re-imaging how we can use our postal services to advance climate justice goals.
While this may not seem obvious at first, if you read through the proposal, it really makes a lot of common sense.
So, what is this about?
—postal bank services, bringing needed services in a fair way back to rural and Indigenous communities
—a postal fleet run 100% of renewable energy
—electric charge stations added to every post office and depot
—expanded door to door delivery services that can also support elders and people with limited mobility
—using post offices as community hubs
There are 6300 post offices across the country. We own this. It’s not only a mail and parcel delivery service, it can be a powerful national logistics network.
Imagine small rural postal offices providing everyday financial services, such as chequing and savings accounts, loans and insurance. The difference with big banks? They are owned by the people who use them. They can be used to prioritize local needs and reinvest profits in social good, unlike Canada’s major banks which raked in $35 billion dollars in profits last year while cutting jobs and raising their already high fees for day to day services.
About 2 million people a year use payday lenders, which often charge interest rates of over 400%. This proposal responds to an immediate need and offers an equitable solution.
While this campaign is an example of dreaming big, it is not unpractical.
As highlighted in their proposal, “The UK, France, New Zealand, Brazil and Italy all have functioning postal banking services. Japan has postal workers providing assistance to elders and Norway replaced its diesel fleet with new electric vehicles.”
This is a very useful concrete proposal that brings together the inter-sectionality at the heart of the Leap Manifesto, aimed at social justice, environmental and climate objectives. I look forward to seeing this campaign unfold.
The project was initiated by STTP/CCUPW, The Leap Manifesto, Friends of Public Services, SmartChange.ca, CPAA/ACMPA and Acorn Canada.