Category Archives: Canada Post

News From CANAV

RCAF 435 Squadron C-130H 130336 on the ramp at 17 Wing Winnipeg on September 28, 2022. This is one of the “H-models” delivered in 1986 as aerial tankers, but also to do the other many duties demanded of Canada’s Herc fleet. This day ‘336 was slated for a search and rescue training exercise in the Lake Winnipeg area. Also shown is the crew for the day. 435’s five Hercs have logged more than 100,000 flying hours, including 27,000+ for ‘336 when I photographed it this day.

It’s been so long since we’ve had the time to post anything new. Finally, here’s a bit of an update. First of all, I hope you will have a close look at our new Fall/Winter 2022-23 newsletter & booklist. It’s packed with outstanding reading for all those having a serious interest in our great aviation heritage. I really appreciate that most of you are long-term CANAV fans, but in order to survive, any such small aviation publisher needs more of its fans to turn into actual supporters (i.e., fans who buy a book once in a while). CANAV needs you both, but can’t survive without a few more more fans becoming supporters. Please give it a thought, if it won’t break the bank.

CANAV introduces its latest booklist

Canada’s premier aviation book publisher presents its Fall/Winter 2022/23 list. Have a close look and you’ll find many important titles old and new including some exceptional bargain books. Please get in touch with any questions about ordering, etc.
Cheers … Larry Milberry, Publisher,

RCAF Centennial Book Project

Most of my 2022 efforts have been in basic research and writing for CANAV’s next book, its grand history of the RCAF 1924. After four years of this so far, the groundwork is done covering from the background to 1924 and into the 1980s. The next year mainly will be covering the modern RCAF, including visiting as many bases as possible. I started this lately with visits to Borden and Winnipeg to cover such squadrons as 400, 402 and 435, and such other important organizations such as CFSATE at Borden and Barker College at 17 Wing Winnipeg. In November I’ll cover 8 Wing Trenton and Petawawa. This fieldwork lets me see the RCAF in action, before finishing the final chapters. This is the recipe for a book that will be worth having on your shelves.

Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada

The RAMWA’s magnificent Canadian Vickers Vedette replica. Several of the men who worked on this project had worked on Vedettes in the 20s and 30s. This spectacular display shows the results.

While visiting 17 Wing, I squeezed in a sidetrip to Winnipeg’s wonderful new aviation museum, the former Western Canada Aviation Museum. There, Gord Crossley (17 Wing Heritage Officer) and Bob Arnold (long-time museum member, restorer, scrounger, etc.) showed me all the super work that’s been done to bring the museum from its roots in the 1970s, through its decades jammed into an old TCA hangar, to today’s magnificent museum. Here are a few of my quickie photos to give you an idea of why you need to make an aviation history pilgrimage to Winnipeg. At the end, I include a few images from Winnipeg’s other important aviation history collection at 17 Wing Winnipeg across the field from the RAMWC.

Another of the museum’s premier displays is the restored Froebe brothers’ experimental helicopter from the late 1930s. The story of Canada’s first serious helicopter project first was told in my 1979 book Aviation in Canada. In that period, Doug Froebe had written to me, “The first time it left the ground, I was at the stick. The tail lifted off first, I’d say two or three feet. Then I pulled back and the front wheels left the ground one at a time. My two brothers were very excited, but I was sort of scared.” Interest in the Froebe story then slowly developed, as often happens once a story gets a bit of initial coverage. Others pursued this one until the original Froebe airframe was acquired by the WCAM. Here is sits in its glory in the new museum.
Restored to flying condition over many years by a team led by Bob Cameron of Whitehorse, Fokker Super Universal CF-AAM now is permanently on display at the RAMWC.
CF-AAM also graces the dust jacket of our by-now famous book, Aviation in Canada: The Formative Years.
Another of the museum’s many world-class restorations is “Big Bellanca” CF-AWR. Brought to Canada in 1935, “AWR” (in its day Canada’s biggest airplane) toiled on many northern projects until crashing near Sioux Lookout in January 1947. Eventually, the WCAM’s stalwart recovery team hauled “AWR” out of the bush. Then began its multi-decade restoration to Bellanca perfection.
From the same era of the classic bushplane is the museum’s Fairchild FC-2W2, CF-AKT. Imported from the US for Canadian Airways in 1930, it eventually (1934) was brought up to Fairchild 71C standards. It then served in the bush until a serious accident near Watson Lake, Yukon in August 1943. Then, Canada’s only civil Fairchild Super 71 CF-AUJ. First flown at Longueuil in 1935, “AUJ” did much heavy lifting in the bush, until an October 1940 accident at Lost Bay south of today’s Red Lake. Again, the always forward-thinking WCAM recovery team salvaged the wreck, which the museum turned into this magnificent restoration.
Beautifully restored cabin Waco YKC-S CF-AYS came to Canada for Arrow Airways in 1935, then served many other operators in the bush. Finally, it joined Central Northern in 1947, a company that soon became Transair of Winnipeg. “AYS” was withdrawn from use in 1953, but somehow survived to end in the RAMWC as another premier example of aviation in Canada during the “Golden Years” of the 1930s.
Sometimes touted as the WCAM’s premier bushplane is this Junkers 52. Originally a tri-motor Ju.52s, long ago the museum converted it to represent CF-ARM, Canada’s famous single-engine Junkers “Flying Box Car” of the 1930s. The details of this and most of the museum’s classic bushplanes are best found in the seminal K.M. Molson book, Pioneering in Canadian Air Transport. This is a book you all should have. See if you can track down a copy at Otherwise (seriously), you should find yourself a copy of Aviation in Canada: The Formative Years and one of Air Transport in Canada.
Representing the RCAF in WWII and the BCATP is this lovely Tiger Moth restoration. 1122 had served at 34 EFTS at Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, piling up some 1242 flying hours before being sold as war surplus equipment in 1945 and becoming CF- COU.
Beaver No.1500 … DHC-2 Beaver C-FMAA served the Manitoba Government Air Service 1962-84, before landing at the WCAM. Today, it’s one of many aircraft seen “flying” from the rafters of the new museum.
No.703 is the RAMWC’s example of the RCAF’s great CF-104. Beside it is one of the CF-104 flight simulators manufactured by CAE of Montreal. In the background of some of these photos you can see other museum aircraft. In this case … the Beaver and Air Canada Viscount.
The museum’s Canadair CL-41 Tutor climbs away above the Viscount and Canadair CL-84.
Two experimental types of which the museum is proud – its Avrocar (the so-called Avro “flying saucer”, actually a simple hovercraft) and the Canadair CL-84. The CL-84 held great promise until defunded by the US government. One wonders about its potential back in the 1960s and how it might have influenced today’s V-22 Osprey. Note how the museum maximizes its wall space.
Two fascinating cockpits to be viewed at the museum: the Viscount airliner and CF-101 Voodoo fighter.
The museum has a giftshop with many products on sales, but books only get a tiny corner. Nothing here from CANAV, sad to say, but … c’est la guerre, right. Then, a look at a tiny part of the museum’s important research library and archive.
On the west side of Winnipeg International Airport resides RCAF 17 Wing. Beginning decades ago, the base decided to display a few of the classic post WWII types that served here. The first three were the Expeditor, Dakota and Mitchell, mainly of No.1 Air Navigation School fame. These have weathered the decades fairly well. Here are “the Dak” and the Mitchell shot during my September 2022 visit.
The Expeditor was in the 17 Wing aircraft restoration shop for a clean-up and new paint. The other big project here is a Bolingbroke being restored using parts from various hulks recovered from prairie farms over the decades.
The RCAF air park’s CF-104, T-bird and Sabre. Under the scaffolding to the right is the CF-100, then getting a clean-up, new decals included.
Voodoo 101008 in 425 Squadron colours, then ex- AETE Challenger 144612.
Part of the air park’s tribute to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan includes a Harvard and several displays of memorial bricks. Among the latter I spotted several fellows about whom we’ve written over the decades, Ron Breeden included. Ron’s career included a first tour on CF-100s, where he was known on squadron as “the boy pilot” on account of his youthful appearance.
The air park also includes a Musketeer, Kiowa and Tracker. All things considered, you can see why a trip to Winnipeg should be in the cards for any serious fan of Canadian aviation history!

Norseman Update … Antti Hyvarinen from Finland recently visited the Dutch aviation museum where ex-Canadian Norseman CF-GLI is being restored. Here are his photos. Thanks, Antti! See the attached special offer for our two beautiful Norseman books. For outside Canada drop a note ref. shipping costs to

Norseman lists … Northern pilot, Rodney Kozar, keeps close track of Norseman “facts and figures”. Here are his two basic lists for 2022. Please contact Rodney if you have any updates.

Old Hamilton Airport Update

If you search here on the blog for Old Hamilton Airport, you’ll see a fascinating bit of Canadian aviation history. Airports, of course, are not of huge interest to the typical aviation fan, but they are an indispensable part of our aviation heritage. By far the best source book for the topic is T.M. “Tom” McGrath’s 1991 gem, History of Canadian Airports. If you’re ever lucky enough to find a copy, pay whatever they’re asking. You’ll soon have this one on your shelf of favourite aviation books.

While filing material lately, I came across some other really top photos of old Hamilton Airport — the one opened  in 1930 to replace the original 1926 J.V. Elliot Airport in the Beach Road neighbourhood. In 1951 Hamilton Airport closed, once the wartime airport at nearby Mount Hope became Hamilton’s main aviation hub.

If you search here on the blog for Old Hamilton Airport, you’ll see a fascinating bit of Canadian aviation history. Airports, of course, are not of huge interest to the typical aviation fan, but they are an indispensable part of our aviation heritage. By far the best source book for the topic is T.M. “Tom” McGrath’s 1991 gem, History of Canadian Airports. If you’re ever lucky enough to find a copy, pay whatever they’re asking. You’ll soon have this one on your shelf of favourite aviation books.

While filing material lately, I came across some other really top photos of old Hamilton Airport — the one opened  in 1930 to replace the original 1926 J.V. Elliot Airport in the Beach Road neighbourhood. In 1951 Hamilton Airport closed, once the wartime airport at nearby Mount Hope became Hamilton’s main aviation hub. These historic photos came to me decades ago in the Robert “Bob” Finlayson Collection. Bob had been CANAV’s darkroom man for many years. You can find earlier blog mentions of him

Canada Post in the Crosshairs … Again

Canada Post riles Canadians with its Mafia-like rates. It cost me $74 today (November 1, 2022) to mail 3 small packages (inside Canada, cheapest rate) each with one book. Too bad Canadians are so wimpy when it comes to such things. We just take whatever Canada Post sticks to us.
The latest Canada Post brouhaha is around the new stamp honouring the DHC-2 Beaver on its 75th anniversary. Problem is that they’ve incurred the wrath of the aficionados who object that the Beaver on the stamp has an American registration. Good point, you eagle-eyed folks, and shame on Canada Post. Their design gurus certainly are not sweating the small stuff!
My own beef with this stamp (and the series of 5 in the booklet) is their overall brownishness. Isn’t aviation all about the blue sky and bright clouds? If I had been asked, I’d have suggested simplicity — bright aviation colours. Brown? Forget it!
When Canada Post brought out my own stamp showing the RCAF Vampire, which I had photographed from a 442 Sqn Buffalo, it was just perfect. Take a look. How could Canada Post have done so well?

Besides the Vampire, compare today’s brown Beaver with the beauty of a Beaver that Canada Post issued ages ago based on one of the great Robert Bradford’s magnificent paintings. Now that’s a philatelic Beaver for you!

Canada Post, feel free to call me next time you have an aviation stamp in mind. I’ll be happy to get you on the right track and save you from shooting yourselves in the foot again. Meanwhile, start sweatin’ the small stuff!

Cemetery Studies

Following up on some earlier cemetery coverage, here is a bit more RCAF history from St. John’s Norway Cemetery. I spotted these two graves during a walk on September 11.

With 11 men killed, January 26, 1942 was a dark day for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, its darkest to date. Included among the dead was Sgt Alfred C. Cornell, age 26. Having attended Danforth Technical School in Toronto, before enlisting in the RCAF he had been an optician at Robert Simpson Co. in Toronto. He was married and had two small children. Killed with Cornell when they crashed in Harvard 3237 was Sgt Gordon F. Clark, age 23 of Kingston. They had been on a flight from No.2 Service Flying Training School at Uplands, Ottawa. Cornell’s funeral took place on January 30. Clark is buried in Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston.
Memorialized on his family marker in St. John’s Norway is navigator, WO2 John W. Dickson, a pioneer night fighter airborne intercept navigator with RCAF 409 Squadron. Flying in a Beaufighter IIF from Colby Grange, on August 3, 1941 he and F/O Bruce A. Hanbury, a former TCA pilot, made 409’s first GCI (ground controlled intercept). Tragedy struck on March 27, 1942 when S/L Hanbury (age 21 from Vancouver, a 1 Squadron RCAF Battle of Britain veteran), P/O Philip M. Sweet (age 21 from Huron, South Dakota) and FSgt Dickson died in a Beaufighter training accident. Suddenly, Beaufighter T3142 had entered  a flat spin from which Hanbury could not recover. The crew was laid to rest in Scopwick Church Burial Ground, England. Often, such airmen are remembered on the stone marking their family burial plot in Canada.

Canada Post Claims, “We Service Canadians with Pride and Passion”

One of Canada’s Post’s fleet of mini mail trucks. Instead of our posties collecting the pre-sorted mail for their routes from the secure corner boxes (now largely disappeared), they now sort their own mail in the mini trucks and do all sorts of other tasks once done by specialized help. If you peer in the passenger side of one of these trucks, often you can see high priority mail just sitting there unattended, as the postie walks his/her route.

One of Canada’s Post’s fleet of mail trucks. Instead of our posties collecting the pre-sorted mail for their routes from the secure corner boxes (largely a thing of the past), they now sort their own mail in their mini trucks and do all sorts of other tasks once done by specialized help. If you peer in the passenger side of one of these trucks, often you can see high priority mail just sitting there unattended, as the postie walks his/her route. Canada Post leaves the postie few options. Ordinary posties also often are tasked these days with clearing corner post boxes, once a separate job, but now being eliminated where possible to improve the bottom line at the expense of having a real postal service.

Canada Post is a huge organization. According to Wikipedia: “Canada Post provided service to 15.7 million addresses and delivered more than 9 billion items in 2014 and consolidated revenue from operations reached $7.98 billion.” Ordinary citizens (who own the outfit and pay its 65,000 of employees very generously) and innumerable small businesses, however, continue to be punished daily by Canada Post management and labour. So much for the “service” part of the Canada Post slogan that heads this item, right. With CANAV Books, for example, the poor service has not improved since we began campaigning years ago — writing letters to Canada Post in Ottawa, discussing on the phone with its representatives, blogging, etc. Lately, things are worse than ever — there’s no consistency even to the simple process of delivering a letter to someone’s house.

For one thing, there are the rates. Sadly, nothing much can be done about Canada’s exorbitant postal rates and it’s the same picture almost anywhere in the world. These rates have driven many small mail order operators out of the picture. CANAV Books barely holds on. It’s tough to sell a $30 book, when the cheapest postal rate to the West Coast is in the $20 range. Canada Post, sad to say, doesn’t worry about which small company it drives out of business next. This goes back to whenever it was that Canada Post decided that postal service no longer was a vital, national, public right, but a new government “profit centre”. So … if a service doesn’t make money, reduce or eliminate it as necessary.

Canada Post’s ivory tower people live in their comfy dreamland, while CUPW (another ivory tower outfit) plans new ways to undermine its postal bosses up at 2701 Riverside Drive, Ottawa. Who are we in the process? Nothing much more than suckers stuck in the middle. We 36,000,000 owners of Canada Post just keep getting all the crap in ever more smelly ways.

Through it all, CANAV Books somehow has survived. We started with our best selling book, The Avro CF-100, in 1981, right in the jaws of an ugly CUPW strike, so all CANAV could do was wait for this particular horror story to settle. The only hope of a solution was that Canadians still could ship to the US and overseas (rates still were affordable) by driving their mail across the border to be handled by US Post. To serve my good customers, I made such trips in 1981 and during subsequent postal strikes.

USA and offshore business today

Once a vital part of CANAV operations, 99% of the world no longer is a market for our books. This is solely due to postal rates. To ship a single copy from the “Aviation in Canada” series anywhere in the European Union, for example, doubles the sticker price of the book. The most avid EU aviation bibliophile these days throws up his hands in despair. It’s a done deal … thanks, Canada Post. All the way down the line, this sad story can be felt through ever-smaller print runs and fewer titles gestating. Paper makers, ink and glue suppliers, printers and binders, truckers, warehousers and many others gradually feel the pinch. Bottom line … today’s postal rates are retrogressive.

Door to Door Delivery

Back in 2009 I still was praising Canada Post for its door-to-door delivery. Certainly in the M4E postal code, that no longer is the case and, judging by the uproar in other postal codes across Canada, M4E is no aberration. Over the past two to three years service has deteriorated to the “pitiful” level, what with every neighbour in M4E regularly receiving other people’s mail. Neighbours bring CANAV mail to my door, and these thoughtful citizens aren’t exactly receiving CUPW benefits. Neither are they obliged to re-direct wrongly delivered mail (some do not, so we all lose valuable letters, etc. – talk about the unthinkable). Last month I did not get my usual bank statements and other important banking mail that always comes in the same week. Where is it? Last week I received a neighbour’s Census papers. Great, eh, since Census Canada threatens the citizenry with $500 fines and/or jail time, should someone not file a census report on time. Guaranteed, other Canadians did not receive their census paperwork on account of Canada Post.

Once, when I discussed mail delivery foul-ups with a Canada Post employee I was told: “Get to love it. This is Canada Post’s new “Get to Know Your Neighbours Program”. Very funny, Mr. $500,000-a-year Canada Post potentate CEO, Deepak Chopra. More recently, when I nicely enquired of a letter carrier about the frequent mis-delivery of mail in M4E, the answer was, “It’s those guys down at the sortation plant. They give us the wrong mail or it’s in the wrong order”. What?! Isn’t it the letter carrier’s duty to  read the address on each piece of mail? Or is this (along, perhaps, with literacy) no longer a job requirement at Canada Post?

Canada’s Post’s new “open air” mail delivery was introduced to M4E on May 6, 2016. The peasantry is not impressed.

Here’s the latest little curve ball. Recently my letter carrier (these folks now change like the weather, gone is the letter carrier who held a route for years and became a beloved community member) has decided not to use the mail slot in my door. For 46 years letter carriers have understood the basic function of the mail-slot-in-the-door. Now, CANAV’s mail some days simply is dropped on the open porch floor (see above unstaged photo). With this new glitch I now have to hope that I can catch all my cheques, orders, legal and government documents, letters from grand kids, etc., before they blow away.

This spring Canada Post is once again re-thinking door-to-door delivery. As if that wasn’t bound to happen, following the corporation’s disastrous community mailbox program. The PM promised some action during his election campaign, so good on him. On May 5 the Winnipeg Free Press ran this headline, “Door-to-door delivery up for debate as Liberals order review of Canada Post”. The item begins, “Canadians could once again find mail at their doors after what the government says will be a sweeping review of every business line at Canada Post …”

This can’t hurt, considering how the previous government had zero interest, except to support Canada Post’s profit vs service fixation. It watched unconcerned as Canada Post ran down in the general direction of Somalia standards (no mail delivery there for 23 years). Now, according to the Free Press, change is in the wind. Minister Judy Foote explains, “We need to hear from Canadians what it is they need and Canadians are responsible” Wow, eh!

Well, Minister Foote, you are hearing from this Canadian. Feel free to drop by any time for a chitchat about Canada Post and how vital it still is for any country that’s going anywhere, e.g., to the key building blocks that spell civilization – education, healthcare, postal service, national defence, transportation infrastructure, etc. You just cannot remove one of these essentials and still have a healthy society.

One of my suggestions last year to Canada Post was that it might seriously take a look at the mission statement of the Bangladeshi Post Office. Bangladesh (at least on paper) seems to have an action plan for postal service. Here’s an excerpt that should really make you hang your heads at Canada Post: “Bangladesh Post office is a government-owned department dedicated to provide a wide range of postal products and public services. It is the premier national postal communication service holding together a vast country with a large population. Bangladesh Post Office is committed to provide a speedy, reliable and regular service to the people of all walks of life at a reasonable cost.”

What do you think, Minister Foote? Mightn’t this work for Canada, too? It sure as heck used to “back in the day”, when few countries had a postal service as impressive as Canada’s, and when a slogan such as “We Service Canadians with Pride and Passion”  actually would have rung true.


*UPDATE* The Peasantry Is Grovelling for Its Mail

To: Canada Post CEO Deepak of the $500,000 annual salary.

Dear Sire,

We peasants out here would be ever so grateful if you could organize your people a bit better. Please do whatever’s necessary to get them bundled up and out on their walks, braving our great Canadian winter, as in days of yore, to deliver the Queen’s mail.

Down here in M4E delivery remains hit-and-miss long after the ice storm, good sire — no mail today January 24, none yesterday. How can CANAV Books serve its customers (or stay in business), when Canada Post is on vacation, “or whatever”,  oblivious to the nation’s welfare?

This good taxpayer in Newmarket is also up against it (I like her part about the contract … good one, eh!):
Canada Post Letter TorStar 23-1-2014
P.S. Paging CUPW (Canadian Union of Postal Workers) … any chance y’all might be able to assist with a bit of creative initiative in getting some regular service at M4E, lest His Royal Highness Deepak in Ottawa is too busy with more important duties? 
Thanks again to the Toronto Star for exposing Canada Post back on January 9 and 10: “Canada Post Scrambles to Restore Service”, “Chopra Keeps Quiet on Delivery Delays”, “Canada Post, Pearson Fumble Crisis Control”, etc. But the Star shouldn’t quit on this topic — there’s likely a bigger, nastier side to what’s on the surface.
P.P.S. I wrote to my MP about this important issue and quickly received a personal response. So bravo to MP Kellway, right! Here is his informative reply:
Thank you for contacting our office about this important matter. My staff has had many calls from constituents about not receiving mail consistently, and they are looking into this and keeping track of the postal codes that are affected.  One of the replies that Canada Post has been giving when we enquire about lack of delivery is that letter carriers have been sick and not been replaced. This is unacceptable as a practice, given that as you point out, lack of delivery impacts both individuals and small businesses.
On January 28, Olivia Chow made the following statement on the defeat of her motion to maintain door-to-door delivery:
“For over a century, Canadians have depended on Canada Post. With Conservatives’ approval, Canada Post executives are planning to cut mail delivery, hike prices, reduce rural post office hours and kill jobs. A responsible government would have proposed solutions to improve service and attract new customers. Other countries have utilized innovations such as e-commerce and financial services to generate more revenue. Now under the Conservatives, Canada will be the only G7 country without door-to-door mail delivery.
New Democrats know that reliable, affordable and accessible mail delivery is vital to Canadians. This is why we immediately recalled the Transportation Committee for an emergency meeting to review the implications of Canada Post’s disastrous decision. Today NDP’s motion generated a full day of debate in the House of Commons in support of the maintenance of this valuable service. By voting against the NDP motion, the Conservatives are ignoring the wishes of ordinary Canadians and small businesses. Instead, they are listening only to Canada Post’s CEO, who claimed that seniors need to get more exercise to pick up their mail. What nonsense.”
If you would keep track of the days that you do not receive mail, that would be useful information. Thank you for writing to me, and thank you for your kind words. Matthew Kellway, MP  Beaches – East York

For February 3, 2014, folks, Canada Post got the mail delivered to CANAV Books at 2100 hours (9:00 PM). When I looked out, I saw the letter carrier navigating with a flashlight, so it really is a sitcom these days with Canada Post and CUPW (which has not responded to my challenge).

CANAV received zero mail on February 4, no surprise, since the weather was a teenie bit off. For the 5th, somehow Canada Post/CUPW miraculously arrived here about 1700 hours with a hefty load of pizza flyers. Great, eh … pizza flyers at about $50-$75 per hour in labour cost to the taxpayer. So thank you ever so much Deepak Chopra and CUPW, you’re real Canadian heroes and we small business enterprises can sleep peacefully.

Trick question: Is the sound of Canada Post and CUPW delivering the mail Canada’s sound of freedom? Not sure, but for the USA that would be the roar of the crowd at the Super Bowel or the Thunderbirds going into afterburner at the CNE airshow.

For February 6, 2014 your poor old scribe blogs: CITY News in Toronto has done an excellent report about the disaster that is Canada Post (covers both sides – labour and management, each of which furiously and moronically blames the other for everything wrong with the universe — you’ve just got to see Canada Post mouthpiece John Hamilton straight-out lying to CITY News. In this important item you can see the very best in Canada Post and CUPW obfuscation to us, their bosses (for whom no one in Canada Post/CUPW has a miligram of respect). There are also many tweets to CITY News in reaction, some very good from the we hardpressed victims, others (sad to say) from the foaming-at-the-mouth Canada Post factions.

Both sides are picking our pockets of billions in taxation for which mail delivery supposedly is the end result. So where’s our mail (no mail today for CANAV, by the way)!

CANAV again challenges Canada Post and CUPW to face the fact that they are no longer capable of doing the simple, age-old task of delivering mail (although they sure do get the pizza flyers delivered). So … do something somebody, even if it means contracting the Bangladeshi Post Office with its excellent business model. Get some decent people in who enjoy a solid day’s work for a fair paycheque. Dump the labour and management yahoo potentates, who are blinded by such a loathing for one and other that our mail ends up in long-term storage,while they take another sick day due to their feelings having been hurt, or whatever.

February 7 A fistful of mail today including several orders — orders that should have been shipped by now!

February 14 Today CITY News in Toronto reported on the on-going mail delays. In typical fashion, the Harper Government laughed this off. Of course, what else would the bozos do. It’s their way — insult and belittle the people of Canada at every opportunity. Do yourself and Canada a favour and do not vote next time for that arrogant potentate Harper or any of his underlings. Here is CITY News’ excellent report:

The Conservatives faced questions on Friday about delayed mail delivery and ongoing problems with Canada Post.

During Question Period in the House of Commons, Scarborough-Rouge River MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan said she and her counterparts from across the GTA have been fielding complaints from their constituents about the apparent backlog.

“After the ice storm, Toronto experienced widespread mail delivery delays. It took Canada Post weeks to respond,” Sitsabaiesan said.

“Well Mr. Speaker constituents from across my riding are still reporting mail delays and I’m not alone. MPs from all over Toronto are fielding complaints. When a two-day delivery turns into a six-day delivery, cheques arrive late and bills don’t get paid … What is the minister doing to fix the mail delivery delays in Toronto?”

The government again said Canada Post’s operations were not in its purview.

“I would simply point out that Canada Post Corporation is an independent Crown corporation,” said Jeff Watson, parliamentary secretary to the minister of transport.

“It operates arms-length from the government and is responsible for its day-to-day operational decisions including these. If [Sitsabaiesan] has a service complaint, she may want to direct it to Canada Post.”

Canada Post, meanwhile, continues to say there are no problems with its service and at most there may be delays of one to two days. It claims weather and absenteeism is to blame.

CityNews continues to receive a flood of emails and phone calls from angry citizens who say they aren’t receiving mail. CityNews has heard complaints from downtown Toronto to Guelph, from Windsor to as far as Saskatoon as stories about late mail fill the newsroom inbox.

Hello Ottawa … Is Anybody Up There? Help! Canada Post is Screwing Us. Somebody Make Them Stop!

2009_Lest_We_Forget_StampCanadians get a deal when mailing a first-class letter at $0.54 + GST. The rate is fair and the service fine. But that seems to be where fairness ends at Canada Post. All other rates are horrendous rip-offs. I’m amazed that there hasn’t been an huge outcry from Tofino to Resolute Bay to Pelee Island to Telegraph Hill.

So often, while in that inevitable line-up at Canada Post, I’ve seen people mailing the smallest parcel domestically and paying out $8.00 – $12.00. Quite often the postage exceeds the value of what you’re mailing! Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed.

Even worse, the Canada Post customer service person usually will offer you a list of options: next day, 3-5 days, whatever. These are all costlier than the lowest available. The customer often will, without really thinking, agree to some higher rate with the prospect of faster service.

Speedier delivery, which the customer rarely needs, is not assured in spite of the surcharge. If only the customer would stop to consider the options. For the lowest rate, his/her parcel will get there fast — often within 1 or 2 days in a range of 800 – 1000 km, regardless of a threat from Canada Post of “7 to 10 business days”.

So look, good people, you’re getting hosed in the first place with the cheapest rate. Don’t let them pick your pocket and make you look like a total ninny. And 99.99% of the time — don’t go for the added “insurance” they love to sell you.

You get an automatic $100 insurance coverage when you ship cheapest, regardless. Something else to consider: you add a whack of extra insurance and your parcel gets lost or damaged (this almost never happens — having shipped books to thousands to readers around the world, I know this to be true). Good luck trying to settle a claim with Canada Post. Getting to first base would mean finding someone to talk to on the telephone about your claim. Fat chance of that happening, right! Yes, there’s a lot to think about when mailing the least little parcel within Canada. Main thing is, start putting the squeeze on Canada Post for a change — turn the tables. Ship cheapest!

This brings me to the next beef … mailing to the USA. Canada Post USA rates now are so horrendous that a small Canadian business such as CANAV Books can pretty well write off the American market. I used to be able to mail a book, say to Texas, at some half-affordable rate. Today, to mail one copy of any of CANAV’s titles across the border the cost is $20 to $30. Do you think the reader will go for this? Well, people have their limits, so nearly all of the USA business lovingly built up by CANAV since 1981 has disappeared. My diehard customers will still get their books, but only when they are on a trip to Vancouver, Toronto, etc., where they can shop at a store carrying our books.

Meanwhile, in the USA, the folks in Washington, DC, have some respect for small businesses, publishers included. They realize the importance of this huge sector in their economy. They prefer to nurture rather than crush it. (Listen up, Stephen Harper — you used to champion the small businessman, remember?) Today, I received in the mail an aviation book ordered from Arizona. This was charged at the 1 kg rate and the postage was $4.03 — a fair and civilized rate. For me to send the same book back to Arizona, thanks to our beloved Canada Post the cost would be between $12.65 and $13.95 plus fuel surcharge. Talk about your world-class cash grab and what a disgrace!

As for mailing anywhere across the pond or bigpond, you can forget about that if you’re trying to sell your small-business product. CANAV has almost no overseas customers left (it now costs about $85.00 to mail by boat one set of Air Transport in Canada to some destination like Australia). The surface rates are so high that even my former EU customers (the EU — where the price of everything’s sky high) are horrified. A couple of Dutchmen have even gone ballistic, chewing me out personally, as if I was the one setting the rates, instead of “Mafia Post”.

Good citizens that they all are, it is ever so hard for Canadians to complain … just ain’t gonna happen. What we are best at is muttering under our breath, but never really standing up and demanding a revolution. We’re just happy getting screwed by the government … tax us a ton more, we love it. Well, failing all else, think about “The Great Canada Post Rip-Off” next time you’re at the postal counter. But don’t let them screw you completely … take the lowest rate available with no add-ons. Try it, you’ll like it!

Bell Canada: A Laugh a Minute

After nearly 30 years with Bell, CANAV Books recently switched to a rival telephone service. This was easily done, but then came the reality of it.

Last week Bell sent CANAV a little “customer appreciation” note — a $316.05 bill to disconnect the old line. No kidding … to exercise its right to do business elsewhere, CANAV gets mugged by Bell. Well, nothing to do but pay up, right (you can be sure if you dillydallied, Bell soon would have its enforcers at you door).

So CANAV coughed up and so far so good with Vonage. Suddenly, however, here’s Bell back on your doorstep. CANAV receives the sweetest card in the mail from one Peter Kerr — “Vice-President, Marketing, Small Business Market, Bell”. Peter’s got an idea:

“Dear Larry Milberry … Your business means a lot to us and we’re sorry to see you go … we’re still thinking about you. Nothing would please us more than the chance to earn back your business …”

Can you believe this? “Ma Bell” mugs a loyal old customer, then comes straight back in sack cloth and ashes, begging to be taken back in! Well, fat chance, eh! But let’s say CANAV did fall for this con. What likely would be on the first invoice from Bell? Right on …  a $316.05 “re-connect service fee”. Aren’t they just the finest Canadians down at Bell?