OTTAWA - The head of Canada's postal service has announced he plans to step down next spring, nearly three years before his contract was set to expire.

Canada Post says Deepak Chopra has advised the Crown corporation's board of directors that he intends leave his position on March 31, 2018.

Chopra's signalled departure comes as the federal Liberal government ruminates about whether to restore door-to-door mail delivery to tens of thousands of homes.

The former Pitney Bowes Canada executive joined the agency in 2011 as it faced a dramatic shift in revenue streams, from declining mail volumes to a growing parcel delivery business.

The previous Conservative government had renewed his contract prior to the 2015 election, effective Feb. 2016, despite criticisms of Canada Post's cost-cutting moves, including the phase-out of door-to-door delivery.

The move to community mailboxes became a hot topic during the 2015 campaign, with the Liberals winning power under a platform that included a promise to review the home delivery decision.