One collector has voiced his concerns about Canada Post’s stamp-issuing tactics following the release of the recent Black History Month stamp.
Long-time collector Wayne Adam, of Toronto, has for years complained about new issues being “not effectively communicated,” as he told CSN half a decade ago (“No fan-fare for most Canada Post first-day locations,” Vol. 42 #2, April 17, 2018).
This January, he spoke out against the “mere hours” of notice about the Chloe Cooley stamp plus the lack of a first-day ceremony at the first-day site of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., where he said postal staff were unaware of the honour. The post office in Niagara-on-the-Lake also had no first-day postmarks or official first-day covers, Adam said.
“When a place and its post office are selected as the first-day-of-issue location, it’s a high honour that puts a spotlight on that community, allowing them to trumpet the distinction. It helps market the stamp and related products, and attracts locals and collectors. But only when people know about it.”
Adam noted there were “no details given about the date, subject, design, first-day location or ceremony” until Jan. 29, a day before the issue date.
“After a few collectors showed up, post office staff called their regional manager in St. Catharines to find out if anything special was planned. The manager was embarrassed that they weren’t even aware of the distinction themselves.”
Regarding a first-day ceremony, Adam believed it “would have been fitting to have one hosted by Canada Post, but what really bugged me was the lack of information on whether there was one or not.”
“If they’re holding one, give folks a heads up so we can either plan to attend, if open to the public, or at least know it’s happening. And if they’re not holding one, tell us in advance, so interested groups can create one if they want to,” he said, pointing to relevant philatelic, civic, historical and cultural groups. “Not all stamps warrant a Canada Post-led, national-level ceremony, of course, but certain ones like this do.”
Canada Post failed to respond to a request for comment by the time of printing.