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BOB'S BLOG: We already spoke, Canada Post

By Bob Wood
June 07, 2013 - 49 comments

Raise your hand if you‘d like to receive more junk mail?

I’m sensing that not that many are raised.

But I doubt that my unscientific survey will sway Canada Post.

They want you to love junk mail.  Particularly those of you who have made the effort and asked Canada Post not to deliver this unsolicited, unaddressed stuff.

A recent story in the Business section of the Toronto Star brought this to my attention.

Many of you will have received letters recently from Canada Post.

In the letter, Amanda Maltby, Canada Post’s chief privacy officer and general manager of compliance, claims that junk mail “can save you money and keep you connected with your local community.”

I chuckled when I read that.

Twenty years ago, I and many others invested a lot of time and energy in trying to get Canada Post and others to respect a citizen’s right to decline junk mail.

In my case, I helped with a petition campaign, put ads in the local paper, worked with my neighbourhood school on the issue and even marched down Burlington’s main street to the post office to press the point.

I was a local politician at the time and together with colleagues from other municipalities, we were successful in getting many towns to take a public position against junk mail and for people’s right to decline it.   

Due to overwhelming public pressure, Canada Post (to their credit) set up a system so that people could decline to receive junk mail that they delivered.  Not all private delivery companies followed suit.

What has changed?  I appreciate that Canada Post’s financial position can’t be improving although the Star story notes they turned in a $98-million profit last year.

But with some many electronic options to communicate now do we really need more flyers?

Are you really ready to love junk mail again?


Bob Wood is a housing and poverty advocate and former two-term Burlington City Councillor who has built a bed-and-breakfast with his wife on Lake Erie. 


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