Members of Parliament from all parties gave approval for a committee investigation of cuts to rural postal service Thursday, according to Blacklock’s Reporter. In 1994, Canada held a moratorium limiting outright closure of rural Canada Post offices, but since then, there have been complaints about the reduction of quality service in some areas. NDP MP Taylor Bachrach, who made the motion to investigate the federal postal service in rural areas, said “we are talking about the viability and continuation of postal service in rural and remote communities … based on my meetings with the Minister responsible for Canada Post I am not convinced Canada Post is a top priority.”“I know, it is surprising,” Bachrach added.The motion to “undertake a study on the loss of postal service in Canada’s rural and remote communities” and report back to parliament by June 7 was approved by the House of Commons Government Operations Committee. Canada Post CEO Doug Ettinger, Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association President Dwayne Jones and Deputy Public Works Minister Arianne Reza are all to be called as witnesses. For seven years after the 1994 rural moratorium, 1,500 communities saw either the loss of, or privatization of postal services. A 2008 Strategic Review Of The Canada Post Corporation recommended the federal government bypass the moratorium, “with a new approach founded on a more realistic and practical definition of ‘rural.’”“Since the 1994 moratorium we haven’t seen more post offices open in rural and remote communities,” Bachrach said. “We have seen post offices go from being proper Canada Post, postmaster-provided post offices to a franchise model that involves contracting out to other businesses, to post office boxes on the side of the road.”Canadians were polled in 2022 by the Department of Public Works in-house research team to ascertain support for bypassing the moratorium.“Canada Post cannot close post offices in rural areas or convert them to less expensive franchises due to a temporary freeze, also called a moratorium, that was introduced by the federal government in 1994,” said a department report Indigenous Peoples’ Views On Canada Post Services. “The moratorium prevents the closure or franchising of more than 3,000 post offices.”“This list has remained unchanged since 1994,” wrote researchers. “Since then many of these protected locations have become urbanized and their populations have grown significantly.”“Most, 84%, agree with a continued moratorium with updated definitions of ‘rural,” said Peoples’ Views.Changes are needed “to address Canada Post’s revenue shortfall,” said the report. The post office suffered a $548 million pre-tax loss in 2022, the most recent annual data. It followed a $490 million loss in 2021, a $779 million loss in 2020, $153 million in 2019, $276 million in 2018 and combined pre-tax profits of $388 million in the period from 2014 to 2017.