Mr. Speaker, at the end of last week I asked when the government would respond to the report on the future of Canada Post that our government operations committee tabled in the House more than nine months ago. What I would like to do this evening is to discuss three key elements of the report that I believe the government needs to address.
The first point is the Liberal election promise to restore door-to-door mail delivery. This was a key promise in the Liberal platform. When this issue came up at our committee, the Liberal members of the committee were only willing to recommend restoring door-to-door mail delivery in neighbourhoods that had lost it after the last federal election campaign began, meaning after August 3, 2015. In the NDP's view, that falls a little short of what was promised during the election. Nonetheless, it would be a big step in the right direction of ensuring that Canadians enjoy a service that is available in the rest of the industrialized world, and that is particularly important to seniors and people with mobility impairments.
We have heard nothing from the government on this since the election, nor have we heard anything since our report.
It has been brought to my attention that in various places in Regina, Canada Post has established new community mailboxes in neighbourhoods that still have door-to-door delivery. Ostensibly, they are to provide service to businesses or multi-unit buildings. However, it seems that in some cases these community box installations are far larger than warranted by the number of businesses nearby, which makes citizens wonder whether Canada Post management might still be committed to the idea of converting neighbourhoods away from door-to-door service to community boxes. Therefore, we need clarity from the government on that point.
The second point I want to mention is about the Canada Post pension plan. There is a notion that Canada Post has this huge unfunded pension liability and cannot do anything about it. The government has used that justification to demand concessions from employees. However, the whole reason for this perceived pension deficit is that Canada Post is required to value its pension on a solvency basis, which really does not make sense for a public enterprise. The federal public service has its pensions valued on a going-concern basis. If Canada Post did the same, it would not have this pension deficit, which is exactly what our committee recommended.
The third point is about new business lines for Canada Post. There has been a decline in the volume of letter mail, which has not quite been made up by the increase in parcel service. We need to get Canada Post into new areas of business to make good use of its infrastructure across the country. Our committee recommended that, and we need to hear a response on it from the government.