Canada Post to end home delivery in five years

Canada Post box in Quebec Canada Post delivers close to 10 billion letters and parcels each year but has seen a 24% drop in letters delivered since 2008

Canada Post will phase out home delivery in urban areas over the next five years as the postal service struggles to rein in persistent losses.

Under a five-year plan released on Wednesday, the cost of stamps will also rise and as many as 8,000 jobs will be eliminated.

But the agency says it will also open more retail locations across Canada.

The service faces a projected 1bn Canadian dollar ($943m; £576m) loss by 2020 without "fundamental changes".

Canada Post lost C$73m in the third quarter of the current fiscal year, CBC News reported.

"Canadians expect Canada Post to continue to remain financially self-sufficient and not look to their hard-earned tax dollars for funding," the postal service said.

At the same time, "the rise in digital communications has dramatically changed the postal needs of Canadians".

Direct to the home delivery will be replaced by community post boxes installed throughout residential areas, Canada Post said in its plan.

The agency said two-thirds of Canadians, mostly in newer suburban neighbourhoods and rural areas, already receive their mail through this method.

The cost of postage stamps purchased in bulk will rise to $0.85 per stamp, up from $0.63 today, among other price rises.

In all, the plan will return the agency to financial sustainability by 2019, Canada Post said in a report, citing annual savings of up to C$900m.

Between 6,000 and 8,000 jobs will be eliminated as part of the plan - 12% of Canada Post's employees, although it says its workforce is ageing and it expects almost 15,000 workers will retire or leave the company in the next five years.

Canada Post delivers close to 10 billion letters and parcels each year but has seen a 24% drop in letters delivered since 2008.

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