The City will be writing a letter to the federal minister of labour in support of Canada Post. Local Canadian Union of Postal Workers members approached council in July to see if they would lend a hand in convincing the government to consider having post offices offer banking services. President of CUPW Local 744 Ellen Bowles believes there’s a demand and need for the service.
“In a lot of communities, especially in the north, they have a post office but they don’t have banks. We’re trying to eliminate people having to move outside of their communities to get these basic banking needs and to be able to have that through their communities.”
Canada Post used to offer postal banking, but it was removed in 1968. Bowles adds that it’s not only about the convenience of interacting with a teller face-to-face; it could also help protect residents.
“A big part of the postal banking is to try to eliminate people being forced into predatory payday lenders, where they’re gauged with high rates and high interest on money lending. Through the post office, perhaps there’d be alternative solutions.”
The motion to get involved was opposed by councillors Lorne Radbourne and Rory Tarant, who felt it was outside of the city’s mandate to advocate for a federal program. Mayor Bill Given notes that part of the review of the corporation is looking into other business opportunities to help pay for delivery services.