Why Canada Needs Postal Banking

Recently I assumed a new role as NDP critic for Canada Post.  I have been a vocal advocate for returning to home delivery and I was extremely disappointed with the recent government announcement to only maintain the status quo. There are 800,000 households already affected by the conversion and to whom Trudeau promised to restore home delivery. And these households will now not see that service restored.  This is a question of fairness; and it’s about keeping your word.

With our rapidly changing lifestyles and an increase in customers relying on home delivery for packages, Canada Post needs to broaden its services not cut them back.  Now is the opportune time for Canada Post to explore alternative revenue streams such as postal banking.  I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to introduce M-166 to be debated in the House of Commons calling for a committee to study and to recommend a plan for a federal postal banking system administered under the Canada Post Corporation.

Postal banking is sustainable, profitable and equitable. It can provide service where the big banks have abandoned people and can offer services to Canadians across the country.  It is a sustainable solution that provides accessible banking services where no service is currently available and to those who cannot afford to (or choose not to) use corporate banks.

Successful postal banks are found in different size countries, big and small, in countries with very successful banking systems, as well as those with less developed systems, and in countries with all kinds of political systems and all kinds of parties in power.  A 2013 study “Why Canada Needs Postal Banking” examined the success of postal banking in 5 countries, including Switzerland and the UK, both of which have a very important banking sector similar to Canada’s.  Postal banking also exists in France with its banking system and large co-op or credit union bank sector, New Zealand with mainly foreign owned banks and Italy with perhaps the oldest continuous banking system in the world.

I hope that my motion will be supported by my fellow MPs. With that support we can implement a plan that will see Canada Post thrive in future.

M-166 will be debated in the House on Friday March 23, 2018. 

 

Irene Mathyssen

Member of Parliament, London-Fanshawe