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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Big savings on postage

Of course Canada Post sponsors the FCM.

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 12:30 PM

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Last week The Coast published an investigative cover story on community mailbox placement in Halifax. It was met with strong public outcry, including such comments as “clickbait trash” and “who cares?”

Something that didn’t make it into the article, because I only found out about it late last week, is the list of “corporate partners” belonging to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

You may recall the FCM as the Justice League-like assemblage of more than 2,000 Canadian towns and cities which looks to influence federal policy and programs. They’re the originators of the mailbox agreement passed by Halifax’s council back in July. It outlines what responsibilities Canada Post has in installing/maintaining these new community mailboxes; responsibilities the crown corporation can easily choose to ignore. The face-saving agreement offers direct municipal support in implementing Canada Post’s drastic cutbacks, while allowing cities to claim they have no say on the matter.

It also means Halifax is out of luck if any problems with Canada Post's community mail arise in the future. Luckily, HRM and Canada Post maintain a close working relationship, which benefits from the crown corporation being a major corporate partner of the FCM.

“Keeping constituents informed of municipal services and programs is crucial, but so is being able to control your communication costs,” reads FCM’s relationship status. Municipality members receive an “exclusive discount” from Canada Post of up to 29 percent.

There’s no back-room conspiracy here (at least there doesn’t appear to be). But a 29 percent discount and corporate sponsorship aren’t the worst reasons for the FCM to back Canada Post’s unnecessary budget cuts with their template agreement.

Other corporate partners with the FCM include the Commissionaires, the Cement Association of Canada, IBM and RBC.

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