Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, of course, to our witnesses, Mr. Chopra and colleagues, at the table.
At one time people communicated on a stone tablet with a chisel, or by smoke signal, or by quill and ink, or on parchment. Mail was carried in the U.S. by the pony express at one time. At one time the telegraph was important. I don't know how many people send a telegram anymore. The last one I got was in 1997, when I won my nomination back then. Media has converged. Print media is struggling to put out circulation. They're moving to the Internet, and to subscriptions on the Internet.
Computers used to fill rooms and were comprised of vacuum tubes. I'm from generation X, and I remember the first desktop computers in school. They were the VIC-20 by Commodore. They had less computing power than a wristwatch does today. My mom used to be in a business where she would use courier services. I remember bills of lading, in triplicate carbon copy, that you had to write out by hand. I remember manual typewriters, then electric typewriters, then computers.
I remember when people carried cash in their pocket. Now even gift cards are giving way to technology on smart phones. I had a friend buy a Starbucks for me the other day and he scanned his phone. I was pulling out my gift card. I already feel I'm behind the times and I'm only 42.
Kids can't write cursive anymore because they don't write letters. My kids text each other when they're in the same room. I remember black and white TV. I remember when we got our first colour TV. I remember rabbit ears, and antennas beside the house, before we ever had satellite or cable and a 500-channel universe.
I remember Beta and VHS. VHS went out. Where's VHS? Hardly anyone has a VHS player anymore. I remember the days when you had to get up and change the channel on TV by hand. The first remote controls only moved the channels up and down and the volume up and down. Try finding a place that does photo enlargement in a lab. It's hard to find, isn't it?
The world is changing, and it's changing very rapidly.
It's not just Canada that's changing; it's the whole world, isn't it, Mr. Chopra? Younger generations particularly are demanding faster, more instant, cheaper.
Now, in that context, there's a significant problem that Canada Post is facing. Talk about e-substitution; high infrastructure and labour costs from old delivery networks; competition with the communications sector, whether it's broadcasters, Internet companies, or telecoms.
Can you talk about that a little bit, just briefly?