Saturday, November 18, 2017
News Roundup

Canada Post to phase out home mail delivery in cities

RECOMMENDED READING


The days of door-to-door mail delivery in urban areas across Canada are about to end.

And, the declining number of people still using the mail will see substantial increases in domestic stamp prices — to 85 cents from 63 cents if bought in a booklet, and to $1 individually — starting March 31.

It's part of a plan by Canada Post to cut its operating costs by up to $900 million a year based on the reality that fewer people use the service in these days of email, courier deliveries and bills received and paid online.

Additionally, the "average Canadian household" now buys fewer than two stamps a month.

Thirty years ago, the post office began installing group mailboxes in newly built subdivisions and that will be implemented in all city areas over the next five years, said spokesman Jon Hamilton.

Canada Post said up to 8,000 jobs would be eliminated while nearly 15,000 employees will retire or leave the government agency within that time.

This will be a hardship for seniors with mobility issues who still want five-day-a-week home delivery of their mail, said Susan Eng of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons.

"In cases where there are mobility issues, we will ensure a box can be accessed that isn't too high and we will provide additional keys (for caregivers to pick up the mail)," Hamilton said.

Thousands more workers lose jobs

As the holiday season approaches, things are not so jolly for thousands of Canadian workers.

Soon after the Bank of Montreal said it has reduced its Canadian workforce by nearly 1,000 positions to cut costs and improve efficiency, there have been numerous other job losses.

Kellogg Co. said it will close its cereal plant that employs more than 500 people in London, Ontario, and Heinz is shutting its ketchup plant in Leamington, Ontario, eliminating 740 full-time jobs.

National Steel Car is temporarily laying off 400 workers, about one-fifth of its workforce, in Hamilton, Ontario, the week before Christmas.

Sears Canada announced earlier it is laying off another 800 employees in the latest round of major cuts and the closing of several of its largest stores.

News in brief

• Household debt that has hit an all-time high is a major risk to the Canadian economy, says Stephen Poloz, governor of the Bank of Canada. The risks need to be managed even as the "growth in household borrowing has moderated and residential investment is on a more sustainable track," he said. Latest figures show only a very small rise in debt in the third quarter of the year, suggesting Canadians are reaching their limit on borrowing.

• The Canadian government will begin to phase out the sale of old-style incandescent lightbulbs beginning on Jan. 1 as it introduces new standards for energy efficiency. Instead, consumers will be encouraged to replace their old bulbs with more expensive but longer-lasting compact fluorescent lamps.

Facts and figures

The Canadian dollar has advanced to 94.32 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar is valued at $1.0602 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's trendsetting interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate remains at 3 percent.

Stock markets are lower, with the Toronto exchange index at 13,118 points and the TSX Venture index 888 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Dec. 11) 4, 15, 28, 31, 37 and 44; bonus 35. (Dec. 7) 2, 8, 11, 15, 24 and 27; bonus 44. Lotto Max: (Dec. 6) 3, 4, 11, 18, 37, 42 and 44; bonus 47.

Regional briefs

• The Alberta government is concerned that a $7.9 billion hydroelectric dam proposed for northeastern British Columbia could cause serious environmental impacts. In a submission to review hearings, the government said the dam could increase mercury levels in fish and escalate the risk of floods or drought along the Peace River. It would flood a 50-mile stretch of the river from Fort St. John to near Hudson's Hope.

• The Ontario Lottery and Gaming wants to build a new entertainment center to more than triple the size of its casino operations in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Proposed is a 5,000-seat "privately funded multipurpose entertainment center" to be larger than those at the province's Casino Rama and Casino Windsor.

Jim Fox can be reached at [email protected]

Comments

Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

Lightning finds its game too late, loses to Islanders

TAMPA — The firepower showed up in the third period.Yanni Gourde and Ondrej Palat scored 13 seconds apart. Gourde scored again.Suddenly it was a one-goal game, and the Lightning appeared on its way to one of those comeback wins that would be remember...
Updated: 1 hour ago
No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

No. 14 UCF rolls Temple 45-19, heads to War on I-4 unbeaten

PHILADELPHIA — There were so many reasons for UCF coach Scott Frost to worry about his team’s focus. With a huge game against USF looming, playing an improving Temple team in a stadium where the empty seats outnumbered the filled ones by about a 3-1 ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: ‘Let them remember us’

TAMPA — In the spring of 2010, one of the biggest debates during the week leading up to the NFL draft was which defensive tackle would be selected first: Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy.Both figured to be highly productive NFL pla...
Updated: 2 hours ago
No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

MIAMI — After Miami clinched the first Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division crown in program history, upset the then-No. 3 team in the country, claimed one of the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings and after many of the nat...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

Bucs’ belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

TAMPA — Belief is the biggest attribute a quarterback can bring to his team. Belief in his talent. Belief in his commitment to winning. Belief in his ability to bring everyone together and have his voice lead the path forward.But the belief the Bucs ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

Topkin: As Rays start dealing, how far will they go?

After collecting intelligence at last week’s GM meetings, the Rays soon will launch their offseason mission of trading at least a couple of veterans to reduce payroll.The question is how far they will go — how many players they deal, and how big of n...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

TAMPA — Can the Bucs pull off back-to-back wins with a backup quarterback? Win a game on the road for the first time this season? Politely hand the unnamed trophy for the state’s worst football team back to the Dolphins?With WR Mike Evans back from h...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher longed for his team to play in this type of game throughout its disappointing season.After Hurricane Irma caused a three-week layoff between FSU’s first two games, forcing it to play 11 in a row to finis...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

WASHINGTON — It’s been nearly six years since the Senate Ethics Committee conducted a major investigation of a sitting senator. Next year, the panel could be working nonstop, deciding the fate of up to three lawmakers, including two facing allegation...
Updated: 2 hours ago