November 19, 2018
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing to you on behalf of the Canadian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry regarding our serious concerns about the Canada Post Corporation labour disruptions.
As a national industry association, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) has received strong feedback from our members, which range from leading multi-nationals to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who are deeply concerned about the upcoming holiday season, the longer-term impact on their business and their bottom line, as well as the Canadian economy should the Canada Post Corporation dispute last much longer.
As part of Canada’s digital economy, tens of thousands of Canadian SMEs use e-commerce sites, to sell to customers across Canada and around the world. Canadian entrepreneurs of all sizes have used e-commerce to grow diverse, successful businesses by providing a wide variety of innovative, useful, and unique products directly to their customers. Their success largely depends on the ability to provide customers with fast and affordable delivery of their orders. Working with other couriers is cost-prohibitive to many of our members, and to their customers, and is not therefore a viable option.
The strike is already causing Canadian SMEs to extend expected delivery dates for e-commerce orders, costing them sales and disappointing customers who are deterred by long or uncertain delivery times. This is particularly true for those crucial sales to customers in the United States and other countries, who will instead choose to buy domestically rather than worry about the uncertainty created by the postal strike. Late deliveries due to the strike can also lead to negative customer reviews for these businesses, jeopardizing the future success of their online businesses. Some sellers even choose to forego sales, rather than risk negative reviews due to late delivery. For many SMEs, the holiday season is a make-or-break element of their fiscal year; and the majority do not have the margins for a poor season.
On behalf of our members, and as an association that focuses on growing the Canadian digital economy, we strongly urge you to use all options at your disposal to bring an end to the ongoing job action that is disrupting Canada Post’s service across Canada.
The continuation of rotating strikes as we enter the holidays, with the possibility of escalating job action, will have a direct and substantial adverse impact on the livelihood of Canadian businesses and, by extension, individuals.
Customers from across Canada, particularly those in rural and northern areas, depend on e-commerce sites to provide them with a vast selection of goods and competitive prices, which might not be available from other retailers. The selection and value offered on these sites (such as eBay and Amazon) is only possible because of the diverse and innovative SMEs that sell their goods online.
The holidays are a special time of year for Canadian customers ordering gifts for loved ones, and a crucial time for Canadian SMEs to ensure a successful and profitable year. On behalf of the members of ITAC, we urge you to use all of the tools at your disposal to bring an end to the job action as soon as possible, ensuring a prosperous holiday season for all Canadians.
Interim President and CEO
CC: Hon. Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility
Hon. Patty Hadju, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Hon. Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion