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Results: 1 - 15 of 90
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Chair, it's the first time in history that we've had the five professional leagues in this country joining together for this bill.
Newspapers rely, as we all know, on advertising for a significant portion of their revenue. This includes the usual flyers as well as in-paper ads. I've heard major concerns from a number of newspapers in this country about competition they're receiving today from Canada Post, which is offering massive free postage services. In fact, I have one of their ads here, which says that the first 6,000 pieces of postage are 100% free.
If the government is genuine about wanting to ensure that newspapers and journals can succeed in this country, why are you allowing Canada Post to use its monopoly power to actually threaten local newspapers in this country?
View Steven Guilbeault Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Madame Chair, and I thank the member opposite for his question.
As you well know, a healthy news and media sector in Canada is a priority for our government, which is why we have put in place a number of measures before COVID-19 and during COVID-19, and we will continue to be there for them after this crisis has gone by.
Manon Fortin
View Manon Fortin Profile
Manon Fortin
2020-06-12 11:04
Thank you very much.
Thank you to the chair and to committee members for inviting me to join you today.
I would like to start by taking a few minutes to update you on how Canada Post has been responding during COVID-19.
Our people proudly serve all corners of the country—the urban centres, the rural towns, remote communities and the far north. Across the company, we understand the important role we play in the everyday lives of Canadians. When those everyday lives were quickly disrupted as the country responded to COVID-19, we understood we would be playing an essential role in keeping people and businesses connected.
Our top priority from the beginning has been to ensure that we are putting the safety of our people first. To do so, we have closely followed the advice and guidance of the Public Health Agency of Canada throughout the period.
We quickly and dramatically changed the way we work, the way we deliver, the way we operate our post offices and the way we clean our facilities right across the country. Let me give you some examples of changes we made in very short order.
We implemented physical distancing measures in all facilities, many of which weren't designed to keep people two metres apart. In our plants and depots we've made changes to staff scheduling, work layouts and work practices to help keep employees at least two metres apart. In our post offices, we've added plastic shields and signage on doors and floors to ensure customers follow physical distancing. For delivery we moved to a knock-drop-and-go policy for parcel delivery to eliminate the need for customer interactions at the door. We've increased the frequency and the level of cleaning in our facilities, and we've distributed personal protective equipment and safety supplies to employees across our network while placing increased focus on proper hand hygiene and physical distancing.
These are just some of the examples of the many measures we've taken in response to COVID-19 across our 21 plants, 480 depots and thousands of post offices.
Through it all we've worked closely with our unions and bargaining agents at the national and local level, with a shared focus on keeping our people safe. We have met regularly, daily, shared ideas and information, and addressed potential concerns.
This approach has helped us to quickly navigate many of the challenges we face while we continue to operate in these challenging times. By putting safety measures in place early and working to regularly improve them, we have been able to continue operating as Canadians turn to us to deliver more and more items.
In April, May and now June, we've seen a huge increase in parcel volumes. Our people have been delivering at record levels as Canadians shop online for the items they want and need. These parcel volumes are coming from businesses of all sizes, with many small and medium-sized enterprises shifting to online sales to continue serving their customers.
We are now regularly delivering over one million parcels a day across the country. That's what we normally deliver during the period from Cyber Monday to Christmas. We're also delivering on weekends across the country.
Even with record numbers of parcels going out for delivery, even greater numbers arrive for processing each day. Beyond delivering on weekends, we're taking a number of measures to respond while maintaining physical distancing. Our network is the largest in the country, so let me help put our efforts in perspective by talking about what we're doing in Montreal.
We're processing 24-7, offering voluntary overtime to employees, and drawing on trained temporary workers to come and help out. On average our employees, since this started, have been performing approximately 15,000 hours a week in Montreal in voluntary overtime. We're also hiring new temporary and permanent employees to bring greater stability and to cover all shifts available on the equipment.
We've also continued to make changes to streamline our sorting processes and work with customers to help us use our network more efficiently. It has meant that through May and the first week of June, we've processed more than double the number of parcels we would normally receive at this time of year.
We will continue to respond to improve the situation, but I want to tell this committee that we are incredibly proud of the work our people are doing across the country under very difficult circumstances and we won't undermine the measures we've taken to put employees' safety first.
At Canada Post we're proud to serve all Canadians. While we're being tested by today's current realities, we are the only one built to serve all 16.5 million addresses across this vast country. That's a big reason why we see the majority of what Canadians buy online. It also means we're not just delivering online shopping to urban centres. Canada Post is also busy delivering much-needed supplies to communities across the country, including remote communities in the Far North.
In early April when we, along with Purolator, were called upon to help distribute PPE to provincial and territorial health organizations across the country, we were pleased to support the effort. Our people are part of the communities they serve and they see the need first-hand. Our focus at Canada Post has been to keep them safe so that Canadians in every community can continue to count on our postal service.
Thank you. I look forward to our discussion.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
Thanks, Chair.
Witnesses, thanks very much for joining us today and for your information.
Before I get to my questions, I want to start with a shout-out to some folks at Canada Post. In Edmonton West a short while ago, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of a World War II veteran and one of our local heroes, Leslie McLean, who served in the Atlantic battle. Donald Cooper from Canada Post, who has helped us out a lot on our mailbox issues, came all the way up to help celebrate the birthday. Doug Ettinger, the Canada Post president, provided for us a special memento for Mr. McLean, who had spent 35 years working for Canada Post after leaving the armed services. I wanted to give a quick thanks to Canada Post for that.
Ms. Fortin, I hear there are various service delays because of the safety measures of physical distancing at your plants. Can you help me understand what's involved? What specifically would be causing the delays?
Manon Fortin
View Manon Fortin Profile
Manon Fortin
2020-06-12 11:14
Thank you for the comments about our employees. I know Donald Cooper as I worked in the Prairie region in the past. He's a very good employee and so pleased that he was able to help you with your event.
From the start, our top priority has been to keep our people and the communities they serve safe. We had, in very short order, to make several changes in our operations across the country, of course working closely with our unions and with our employees to put those changes in under public health guidance of what those measures should look like.
At the same time as we were putting those measures in place, we started to get incoming volumes that were similar to Christmas. The measures we put in place are necessary. They include things like changing our work layouts in all of our facilities, facilities that were not built to have people two metres apart. We had to change our layouts and our work practices. We had to reduce the number of employees working in several work centres in order to respect the two-metre distance. All of those changes have caused us to have less processing capacity than we typically would have at Christmas with the benefit of planning and the physical distancing measures not in place.
Under the COVID staffing, our employees are processing record numbers, Christmas volume numbers, but we can expect some delays as we put some of those safety measures in place and we keep those safety measures in place. We've suspended normal delivery guarantees for parcels because we wanted to focus on safety. We've been very transparent with customers, posting information on the delays on our website and on social media and also letting the customers who are sending the parcels to the consumers, Canadian citizens, know. We've been transparent with Canadians to expect delays for the foreseeable future.
We've delivered every single weekend since March 12. We are not structured to deliver, but our employees showed up. Hundreds of employees showed up to deliver every weekend. We've been operating 24-7. We don't typically, in April, May and June, operate 24-7. We've called on our 10,000 temporary employees to come and help us out. We've had over 600,000 hours of overtime in all of our plants from our employees helping us over weekends.
We're creating now full-time positions in some of the bigger facilities to help deal with the volumes, but essentially we've delivered Christmas-type volumes with a capacity that has been constrained for all the right reasons, to ensure that the proper safety measures are in place in our facilities.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
CPC (AB)
Great. Thank you.
If you're hiring so many temporary employees, maybe you should give our veteran Leslie McLean a call. He's 100, but he did 35 years with Canada Post. He's in great shape. You could probably use him.
You have so many employees, 68,000 employees. How have you been able to access and distribute PPE to your employees?
Manon Fortin
View Manon Fortin Profile
Manon Fortin
2020-06-12 11:18
As I said, at the beginning of the pandemic, in very short order we had to turn to how to make the safety of our employees and the people they serve a priority. Working with our unions and public health, what does that mean in terms of processes and equipment that we would have to provide to our employees?
We've provided to post offices across the country hand sanitizer, wipes and gloves. We've put clear barriers at our 3,700 corporate post offices, as you would see at many retailers now. We distributed face coverings to all employees in our organization who are customer facing or—
View Tom Lukiwski Profile
CPC (SK)
Unfortunately, Madame Fortin, we're completely out of time. If you have additional information you want to provide in your answer, I would ask you to do so as quickly as possible in writing, and you can send that directly to our clerk, but we are under some time constraints here.
View Majid Jowhari Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, witnesses.
I'd like to echo the sentiments on the great work that the postal service is doing, making sure that we receive not only the goods but the services that we need.
Let's take a step back. Madam Fortin and Mr. Persad, can you give us, very quickly, an overview of the process of the distribution of the PPE? I understand we do some sourcing. I understand that through PSPC we do the procurement, but once the procurement is done and the goods are sourced, help us, very quickly, through the steps we do to get the product from the destination to the regional health centre.
Manon Fortin
View Manon Fortin Profile
Manon Fortin
2020-06-12 11:20
Thank you for your kind words about the work that our employees are doing every day to serve Canadians.
Maybe I can answer the question by explaining a bit what our roles have been in this initial and urgent distribution of personal protective equipment.
Each entity had its own role to play, for sure. Amazon was brought in to provide the system platform to enable PHAC to place orders, track orders, track inventory and then give a signal that an order needed to be dispatched. We could not do that ourselves, because we're not a fulfillment company—we're a processing, transportation and delivery company—and so that was Amazon's role.
Purolator—and Ryan can probably add to this after—is providing transportation to the Maritime-Ontario warehouse to await shipment instructions and is also providing the final-mile shipping services to the 14 health organizations across the country.
Canada Post is also providing final last-mile shipping services in some instances.
Maritime-Ontario, which is a contractor of Canada Post, has provided an emergency warehouse solution to store the product and—
View Majid Jowhari Profile
Lib. (ON)
Who's managing the shipment from the customer at source if they're overseas?
Manon Fortin
View Manon Fortin Profile
Manon Fortin
2020-06-12 11:22
That's the government.
Manon Fortin
View Manon Fortin Profile
Manon Fortin
2020-06-12 11:22
That would be the military, the government and the airline that the government has contracted to bring the product in.
View Majid Jowhari Profile
Lib. (ON)
Once the products are released from customs, where are they being stored?
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