While Canada Post’s whole restructuring is making news, I am intrigued by what may be some interesting developments in terms of stamps. December saw the launch of a second version of the 2013 P-rate definitives, this time with the price, 63 cents, in place of the “P” mark. Now I am a bit unsure as to when the 2014 versions will be issued; presumably in January. That means these 2013 stamps will have a relatively short time off issue – just a few months. Since they are being sold during the heavy Christmas mailing season, they may not be too hard to find, but it still means a lot fewer of the denominated version than the “P” marked version.
As for 2014, since the rate increase has been deferred until March 31, if new stamps are issued with the 63-cent rate in January, they will only have a three-month issue period, meaning we could end up with some comparative scarcities in both 2013 and 2014 definitives. If they hold back on the new designs, the number of 2013 stamps with the 63-cent value will still just be issued for a few months.
Of course all of this is based on the reasonable assumption – that Canada Post’s plan will be implemented. This is something I give a solid 99 per cent probability of happening.
The plan has the support of the responsible minister in a majority government, unless some sort of huge public outcry convinces our lawmakers otherwise, it will pass, no matter how much the opposition expresses its outrage. Canada Post’s stand through all of this has been to point out that two-thirds of Canadians already don’t get home delivery so this is taking away a benefit unfairly given to some Canadians based solely on geography. Sort of similar to when residents of Toronto’s affluent Rosedale district were told that garbage collectors would no longer be walking up their driveways to pick up and return garbage cans, but that they would have to haul their trash to the curb like everyone else. If that doesn’t work, you can buy into the theory that most of us look forward to community mailboxes as a more secure way to get mail, and actually enjoy taking outdoor walks in inclement weather to check our mail because it is good exercise, and builds a sense of community with our neighbours.
If you still want to hold out, Canada Post has a trump card to play. It is called, “If you don’t give us what we want you will have to pay for our losses with tax money.” If, for some reason, the new rates get axed, we will still have to see new stamps issued with the already approved 64-cent rate. So politics aside, we will see some form of interesting stamp populations coming out of this. Even inside Canada Post there seems to be some confusion about what stamps will come out when. But that shouldn’t come as a shock; these are confusing times. Just a week after the P-rate stamps were withdrawn, a clerk at a Canada Post urban downtown location sold me two P-rate baby animal stamps.