Out Of Junk Mail p.13


CANADA'S POSTAL service is getting out of the junk mail business.

Acting on complaints from Canada's newspapers and other private businesses--as well as a highly critical report on the country's postal service--Public Works Minister Diane Marleau said that Canada Post will stop delivering so-called "economy unaddressed admail."

"Unaddressed admail, or junk mail as it is commonly called, is an irritant across the country and Canadians simply do not understand why it is delivered by their post office," Marleau said.

Mostly fliers and coupon books, economy unaddressed admail is delivered on weekends by contract workers who are not regular letter carriers.

The U.S. Postal Service has been looking at similar delivery possibilities as part of its ongoing drive to operate more like a business. Most recently, the service floated plans for a "Neighborhood Mail" program that was abandoned after protests from newspapers and private-sector direct mailers.

Public Works Minister Marleau ordered an end to the junk mail business following the release of a 151-page report criticizing Canada Post as"an unfair competitor to private-sector companies."

The review of Canada Post was authored by George Radwanski--a former editor of the Toronto Star. Radwanski's review found evidence that Canada Post, a so-called Crown corporation, was using the price of its stamps to cross-subsidize the junk mail business, and its courier service, which competes with such private-sector businesses as Purolator Courier Ltd.

Radwanski said Canada Post's combining of taxpayer-funded services with its own commercial ventures"have gravely distorted its corporate culture."

Canadian newspapers hailed the changes. The Canadian Newspaper Association has complained in the past that unaddressed admail allowed Canada Post to use its exclusive access to apartment mailboxes as an unfair advantage in delivering fliers and coupon books that might otherwise be delivered inside newspapers.


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