Feds planning to mitigate Canada Post deficit

The federal government is working with Canada Post directors to develop a plan to mitigate the Crown corporation’s billion-dollar deficit according to a recent House of Commons session.

During a June 2 government operations committee meeting, Anita Anand, the minister responsible for Canada Post, outlined the 2021-22 departmental plan for Public Services and Procurement Canada. Kelly McCauley, the Conservative MP for Alberta’s Edmonton West riding, then opened the first round of questioning by highlighting Canada Post’s recent financial losses.

“Canada Post has lost $1.1 billion – almost $1.2 billion – over the last couple of years,” said McCauley, who added the Canada Post Corporation Act requires the Crown corporation “to operate on a self-sustaining basis financially.”

Canada Post reported a before-tax loss of $779 million last year, and nearly half its more than 6,000 post offices operated at a deficit. In the two preceding years, the Crown corporation reported losses of $153 million in 2019 and $276 million in 2018, which came after combined before-tax profits of $388 million from 2014-17.

“I will say that we have been in close communication with the board of directors of Canada Post regarding its path toward financial sustainability,” Anand told the committee on June 2. “Indeed, we were all working very hard to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, which to some extent did cloud the agenda.”

Neither Anand nor department Deputy Minister Bill Matthews would confirm if the Canada Post board had submitted its latest corporate plan.

The Crown corporation previously tabled a corporate plan in Parliament in April 2019, almost a year before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

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