NDP leader calls on Canada Post to drop fuel surcharge over holiday rush period
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step in to see Canada Post scrap its fuel surcharge on deliveries over the upcoming holiday rush period.
To help cover rising costs, Canada Post announced in September it would be adjusting its longstanding fuel surcharge on shipping rates on a weekly basis, depending on the price of diesel.
As of Nov. 28, Canada Post is currently charging an 39.5 per cent surcharge for domestic services, after diesel reached nearly $2.30 a litre earlier this month.
Singh told reporters Tuesday the prime minister should consider the cost of living increases for Canadians, and questioned whether the federal government approved the decision for Canada Post to impose a nearly-40 per cent surcharge.
“It's going to be more expensive for families to send packages or to deliver to their loved ones over the holiday season,” Singh said. “Serious questions are raised about whether the Liberal government and the prime minister looked at the impact that this increased surcharge would have on Canadians and considered ways to mitigate that.”
Singh called the surcharge “gouging,” while seeming to suggest the federal government direct the Crown Corporation to scrap the policy over the busy holiday period.
Canada Post spokesperson Valérie Chartrand wrote in an email to CTVNews.ca the fuel surcharge is based on the average price of diesel across Canada as measured by an independent company, and Canada Post understands “the impact this can have on customers.”
“Due to the fluctuation of fuel prices and their significant impact on operational costs, fuel surcharges are applied year-round as a standard industry practice for parcel shippers,” Chartrand wrote. “As Canada Post manages the largest transportation network in Canada, with thousands of vehicles in our fleet, this has been part of our standard practice for nearly 20 years.”
Public Services and Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek addressed the policy during Question Period Tuesday, saying, “Canada Post Corporation operates at arm's length from the government.
“But we do have regular conversations with Canada Post in terms of their initiatives, we monitor this very closely. I'm in communication with that board, and I commit … to help continue that type of conversation.”