Sunday, June 08, 2014

Canada's most patriotic riding at your expense?

Meet Canada's most patriotic Harper government Member of Parliament in the most Conservative patriotic riding with Canada's most patriotic blog!

Good Day Readers:

Last week CyberSmokeBlog received a bilingual 8-page 11 1/2" x 17 1/2" big, honkin mother of all political mail-out from its Member of Parliament Shelly "The Shelly" Glover. CSB saw red (but not Canadian flag red) when it was greeted with:

Dear Constituents,

How would you like to live in the most patriotic riding in Canada? With glowing hearts and true patriot love, we can make it happen.

Apparently she's competing with other Harper government ridings to see which one is the most patriotic. Two red maple leafs were included in the mailing which you're supposed to place in a window or on a door so her little apparatchiks can run around the neighbour counting them. In the alternative, as part of the flyer there's a no postage required clip out section you're supposed to send to her in Ottawa which allows her to collect your name and whether you're a:

Senior
Homeowner
Parent of a child under 18
Veteran
Student

all convenient database information if you're getting ready for an election.

By the Numbers

(1) CSB checked with a Canada Post outlet and had you mailed her hunkin, mother of a mail-out it would have cost $1.80

(2) According to Elections Canada in 2011 the Saint Boniface riding had a total population of 89,486 of which 65,460 were eligible voters

(3) 65,460 x $1.80 = $117,828 the revenue denied Canada Post

(4) To date there are at least 7 unpatriotic Saint Bonifaceians based on the number of honkin/mother flyers CyberSmokeBlog has retrieved

(5) A marketing research factsheet distributed by Canada Post a few years ago indicated the response rate for all direct-mailadvertinging - not just political ads - was a measly 2.18%. Political parties would be better off sending their mail-outs directly to the local recycling stations

2.18% x 65,460 eligible voters = 1,427.03 patriotic voters
1,447.03 - 65,460 = 64,032.03 non patriotic voters

Projection: Saint Boniface will finish last in the patriotic sweepstakes!

Got another one this morning about supporting Canadian families with a detach and send back portion. Wonder how much that will cost taxpayers and Canada Post in lost revenues. Ms Patriot would like to know which party is on the right track to support Canadian families.

To fellow Saint Bonifaceians, especially senior citizens, enjoy trundling off each winter day to your community mail box in a minus 25 degree Winnipeg blizzard because Canada Post didn't have enough money to continue your door-to-door service.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Blogmaster
Saint Boniface, Manitoba home of Canada's most patriotic blog

P. S. Still not a peep from City Councillor Dapper Dan the Man no scandal Vandal who's the Liberal candidate in this riding much less the NDP candidate. They'd better get their asses in gear or the election will have come and gone and they'll just be getting started.

Canada Post cuts home delivery but continues postage-free mail for MPs

By Joan Bryden
Sunday, June 8, 2014

OTTAWA - As Canadians anticipate a future of slogging through snow, rain, heat and gloom of night to get their mail, they can take comfort in knowing their community mail boxes will continue to be stuffed with wads of postage-free political propaganda.
And they can congratulate themselves that their tax dollars helped produce and deliver that junk mail.

Canada Post has hiked postal rates for regular mail and plans to cut up to 8,000 jobs as it phases out urban home mail delivery over the next five years — all in a bid to reverse the tide of red ink at the money-losing Crown corporation.

But one thing isn't being cut: free parliamentary mailing privileges, known as franking.

Canada Post declines to say whether it has given any consideration to ending the practice. Nor has any parliamentarian raised the idea, even as they're embroiled in controversy over almost 2 million allegedly improper partisan missives mailed, for free, by New Democrat MPs.

Under the Canada Post Corporation Act, there is no cost for mailing letters between citizens and their MPs, the governor general, the speakers of the House of Commons and Senate, the parliamentary librarian and the Commons Ethics Commissioner.

As well, MPs can send up to four flyers — known as unaddressed admail, in post office-speak — free of charge to their constituents in each calendar year. And they can send lots more flyers if they want at "a deeply discounted postage rate," according to postal service spokesperson Anick Losier.

Losier would not say how much revenue Canada Post could be earning if it charged politicians the going rate for letters and flyers.

But consider that in 2013, the corporation delivered some 6 million franked letters from parliamentarians (not including postage-free mail sent to them from their constituents) and almost 132 million pieces of unaddressed admail.

At last year's regular postal rate of 63 cents, those 6 million letters could have added almost $4 million to cash-strapped Canada Post's coffers.

At the new rate of 85 cents (assuming stamps are bought in packs; it's now $1 for individual stamps) that's more than $5 million in forgone revenue.

Canada Post receives an annual subsidy of $22 million from the federal government to help defray the cost of free government mail and free mailing of materials for the blind. That subsidy hasn't changed since 2000, although the corporation argued in 2007 that it fell far short of covering actual costs.

It presumably falls even shorter now, seven years later.

The Crown Corporation predicted this year that Canada Post and its subsidiaries would lose $274 million before tax in 2014.

Among the most vociferous opponents of the move to end home delivery is CARP, an advocacy group for seniors, some of whom still rely on written letters to maintain contact with family and friends but who could have difficulty getting to a community mail box to retrieve them.

Finding out they're losing their home delivery service while politicians continue to send millions worth of postage-free partisan junk mail is "really going to get up their noses," says CARP vice-president Susan Eng.
"For some people, this mail service is an essential service and if (Canada Post is) crying poor, then where are their priorities?" she said.

"Is it to get the senior her pension cheque to her home, so that she doesn't have to beg a friend to get it for her, which erodes her independence? Or, (is it) to make sure that MPs get to send their propaganda to us?"
Eng noted that the government is moving to direct bank deposits for all its payments to Canadians, in a bid to save paper and postage, yet it is not ending the practice of MPs sending reams of unwanted, postage-free paper to constituents.

Neither the minister responsible for Canada Post, Lisa Raitt, nor government whip John Duncan, a member of the multi-party Commons committee that is investigating the NDP's allegedly improper mailings, responded to requests for comment on whether it's time to end or curtail MPs' franking privileges.

NDP postal critic Alexandre Boulerice said there must be a public consultation and comprehensive review of all Canada Post's services — and he wouldn't exclude MPs' free mail from that review.

He suggested that perhaps the volume of free parliamentary mail could be reduced. But Boulerice said he would not support ending the practice of allowing citizens to send postage-free letters to MPs, noting that the whole point of franking was to ensure easy communication between Canadians and their elected representatives.

Liberal House leader Dominic LeBlanc said his party "would welcome any review that would ensure mailings are limited and parliamentary in nature, and not partisan or electoral."

Follow @jmbryden on Twitter

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