Mr. Speaker, our government has gone to considerable lengths to bring about the renewal of Canada Post. We believe it is a uniquely important national institution that will continue to serve all Canadians from coast to coast to coast while also helping small, medium and large businesses thrive at home and abroad.
That mission to serve Canadians is at the heart of the new vision for renewal I had the honour to put forward earlier this year. This renewed direction took into consideration the evidence and perspectives gathered during the comprehensive review launched in May 2016, including the work of the independent task force, the report by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, and input from Canadians.
I know the employees of Canada Post remain deeply committed to serving Canadians. They work hard every day to do exactly that. Our new vision for renewal is forward-looking, not nostalgic. We believe Canada Post and its dedicated employees will be serving Canadians for decades to come. Therefore, they must continue to innovate and adapt to the rapidly changing expectations of their customers and a competitive, dynamic business environment.
To create the foundation needed for renewal, we put in place new leadership with a mandate to implement that vision in collaboration with employees and their union representatives. In addition, this leadership is part of our work to incorporate greater diversity and broader perspectives within the corporation, including those of labour.
The new leadership has made significant efforts over recent months to reorient the relationship between the corporation and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers in particular. On some fronts, progress has been made. Decisive actions have been taken to address some long-standing issues such as bullying and harassment.
The two parties worked hard to engage in a respectful dialogue on the need to work together to renew Canada Post. This dialogue is set to continue in the coming months and years, once a new collective agreement is signed.
Despite considerable efforts, this work has not yet translated into success at the bargaining table. My colleague, the labour minister, has exhausted every means to assist the parties to reach a fair resolution, and still no deal has occurred. We are at the point of placing in jeopardy Canada Post's ability to deliver for Canadians during the crucial holiday season. The scale of the backlog in the national network caused by rotating strikes over the past several weeks is significant. It will take some time to clear that backlog, especially as volumes are ramping up dramatically.
What we have seen to date is about to be amplified as we enter into the absolute apex of activity in e-commerce, starting today with Black Friday and continuing with Cyber Monday just a few short days away. Canada Post is responsible for 70% of those e-commerce deliveries. That is 70% of e-commerce deliveries in our country. The rotating strikes and the backlog are clearly taking their toll.
We know that two-thirds of small and medium-sized enterprises surveyed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business report being affected by the strikes. We know that costs are around $3,000 per business in terms of lost sales, cancelled orders, delays or costs due to the use of more expensive delivery alternatives.
We also know that, these days, more and more Canadians are shopping online, which has created a growing need for parcel delivery. During the 2017 holiday season, Canada Post delivered more parcels than in previous years. Clearly, the ability to send and receive mail is very important to Canadians.
In the event of a lengthy postal strike, we could start to see many companies, particularly smaller e-commerce companies, not survive the season.
The disruption is also becoming an international problem for Canada. Recently, Canada Post had no choice but to advise international partners to stop sending mail and parcels to Canada. Let me repeat: International partners have stopped sending mail and parcels to Canada. Our government is exerting enormous efforts to advance Canada's position in global trade, and action is required now to prevent postal disruption from undermining the successes that support so many middle-class jobs.
We have ample evidence of the harm to small and medium-sized enterprises that rely heavily on an efficient e-commerce delivery chain, and to charities counting on ramped-up fundraising through the mail during the holiday season.
Our government also recognizes the important services that Canada Post and its employees provide, especially for older Canadians, persons with disabilities, low-income earners and Canadians living in rural, remote and northern areas. These Canadians are hit the hardest during a postal strike.
This is precisely why we have been doing everything possible to help the parties reach agreements that work for everyone. It has been important to give the process every chance to succeed.
Our government has always recognized the right to collective bargaining. Federal conciliators and mediators have helped the parties through their negotiations for nearly one year. When the negotiations reached an impasse, we appointed a special mediator to take a fresh perspective of the situation.
To keep the momentum going, we once again appointed the special mediator in an effort to maintain that momentum, but no agreement could be reached. Voluntary arbitration was then offered and a special mediator was brought in for a third attempt to resolve the differences. When we say that all options have been exhausted, we mean it.
With negotiations completely stalled and weeks of rolling strikes going by, it has become clear that our government is left with only one remaining option.
This does not begin to describe the economic and reputational harm to Canada Post. Again, this is not a road we wanted to go down, but the stakes are too high. We must do what Canadians put us here to do, and that is to protect their interests. Now, with balanced legislation, we are acknowledging that non-intervention will cause harm to a broad swath of economic and social actors.
Canadians need an end to the impasse: individuals in communities of all sizes, small and micro-businesses, medium and larger enterprises and charities. We have an obligation, in the best interests of our constituents, in fact of all Canadians, to move forward with this legislation.
Canadians need Canada Post. They need the corporation's management, its dedicated employees and their representatives to deliver for them this holiday season. They need labour and management to get on with the longer-term job of renewal of Canada Post, so it continues serving the evolving needs of all Canadians for decades to come, providing safe and fairly compensated work for its dedicated people.
This is why we need to support this balanced legislation.