Letters to the editor

Going postal

Interesting piece on Canada Post (Alec Bruce column, March 2011), particularly the Moncton city councilor who complained about a piece of mail he calls “Moncton to Moncton in 10 days.”

That kind of performance should not happen in the present scheme of things and I can only imagine that it must have been deliberately missorted by a disgruntled, embittered employee. That does not surprise me as there are many unhappy mail-handlers working at Canada Post. Why unhappy? Because Canada Post overlooks unacceptable behavior in their supervisory staff, while tending to pile work and blame on the people who do the physical work. As a part-time mail clerk in the Halifax plant, I have seen mail pieces returned again and again, obviously missorted by someone.

I would suggest that Canada Post needs to clean up its act and have a very close look at its hiring practices, and clean house getting rid of some of its current supervisory staff. One of the biggest outrages at Canada Post is that it allows the hiring of close relatives in supervisory positions.

The latest scandal is that a company that produced only $90 million in net profit in 2008 is able to invest $3 billion in new sorting equipment across Canada at a time when mail volumes are way down. Who in their right mind would loan Canada Post billions of dollars to invest in capital equipment in such an enterprise? Only the Government of Canada. If nothing else, this is simply bad business.

Is this not reminiscent of some years ago when then-Nova Scotia premier Gerald Regan pumped billions of dollars into the Sydney Steel plant? As we all know, it still didn’t make a profit and was eventually broken up and sold. Is the same about to happen to Canada Post? Pity the poor taxpayer. All this at a time when Canada Post is in the midst of negotiating a new contract with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and is trying its best to reduce wages and sick-time benefits.

It is certainly time that the taxpayers of Canada know about this outrageous behavior. 

Barry MacDonald
Bedford, N.S. 

Dear John…

You have a keen sense of global awareness on many topics but your latest article (Think) is, in my mind, so appropriate a description of our present society that I decided to write you a letter of encouragement. I have seen so many people glued to their Blackberrys, such that they could stroll off a cliff and not notice until they hit the ground. You are quite right, people expect the response to their question instantly, rather than let the respondent take the time to think about the solution. Keep up the good work, John Risley, and hopefully some of our politicians will read, understand and implement your suggestions.

Frank Tibbetts

New Glasgow, N.S.

Not Far Enough

I couldn’t agree more with your stance re: the need for a Cat III ILS at the Torbay Airport (Salvo, March 2011). There is one more argument in its favor — the most important in my view — that you didn’t mention, and it is this: This island only has two means of access, sea and air, and both are problematic in terms of reliability due to weather and environmental conditions. Ours is the only province in Canada without a direct road AND rail system. This to me means that together with the points you raised, Torbay airport should have been given one of the highest priorities, if not the highest, for airports to be equipped with the upgraded system.

Rolly Card
St. John’s, N.L.

YYT lands funding

It is with pleasure that I provide you with a positive update to the St. John’s International Airport Authority’s Accessibility Initiative, as outlined in Clearing the Air at YYT, published in your March/April edition. On March 23, a joint federal-provincial government announcement was made at the St. John’s International Airport that the authority’s tri-partite funding proposal to improve the accessibility of the airport during low-visibility conditions has been approved. The airport authority, along with the federal and provincial governments, will each contribute $8.6 million towards this $25.8 million project, which will involve the installation of a Category III instrument landing system on the airport’s principal runway and a number of associated infrastructure improvements required to support this technology. The result of this project will be a significant improvement in the usability of the airport during extreme fog conditions along with the economic benefit to be derived from reversing our reputation for being inaccessible. This multi-year construction project will be completed by 2013, at which time the benefits of this enhanced system will start to be realized by passengers, airlines and the business community. We thank the federal and provincial governments for their partnership on this initiative, Nav Canada who assisted us with the application that was submitted to both levels of government and who will provide and maintain the technology that will enable the airport to be Category III capable, along with the business community and all of our stakeholders who felt as passionately about this project as we did and helped to bring this initiative to fruition. We’d also like to thank Atlantic Business Magazine for helping to keep a public focus on this matter.

Keith Collins, President & CEO

St. John’s International Airport Authority

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