By Ian Robertson
Postal customers are facing a Happier New Year.
Canada Post announced on Dec. 16 that it has cancelled a planned hefty postal rate hike for letters in 2016.
Instead, it will keep the first-class letter fee at the 85-cent rate imposed in 2014 — which soared by 22 cents, up from 63 cents — as long as multi-stamp booklet postage is used.
Introduced the same year, the $1 rate for a single stamp purchase at a postal outlet is also being retained for letters.
Canada Post is proposing to increase postage rates in 2016 as declining mail volumes continue to have a significant impact on its financial situation.
On July 6, 2015, Canada Post announced a proposal to increase the postage rate for domestic lettermail items weighing 30 grams or less when purchased in a booklet, coil or pane to $0.90 from the current rate of $0.85. The price of a single stamp would remain $1.00. The rate change was proposed to take effect on Jan. 11, 2016 and replace rates that will have been in effect for 21 months.
The current $1.20 rate for U.S.-bound letters, cards and postcards, the $2.50 International letter, card and postcard rates, plus the $10.20 Domestic Registered Mail fee will remain in effect for 2016, the post office statement announced.
Postal officials said its brakes were applied because of the new Liberal government, which was elected to a majority on Oct. 19.
In the past, letter rate increases have been for one or two cents.
The new government is planning a review of the Crown corporation, which has recently cited good profits on business-oriented mail, even as Canadian residents and business post fewer letters in this era of digital and online computerized messaging.
Meanwhile, Canada post said parcel and other mail services will be increased early in the year.
As a result, collectors should anticipate new definitives being available soon at post offices everywhere.