Canada Post Seeks to Raise Lettermail Rates

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Canada Post Corp., Ottawa, is seeking approval from its federal government -- its only shareholder -- to increase the basic rate to mail a letter in Canada by one cent on Jan. 1, to 46 cents.

If the government approves the increase, it would be the first one Canada has seen since Aug. 1, 1995. The increase will affect only lettermail (First Class in the United States), but plans for lettermail rates to the United States and other global destinations will be announced shortly. Advertising mail and distribution services within Canada will not be affected by the increase.

Once the government makes it decision, it is published in what is similar to the U.S. Federal Register. The public then has 90 days to respond to the decision, after which the government reviews the issues and approves or rejects the proposal.

Even though Canada Post reported a net profit of $36 million on revenues of $5.1 billion during 1997-98, spokesman Jean-Marie Filion said that revenues decreased by $19 million over 1996-97 and that Canada Post had anticipated at least $100 million more in profits.

"Because of last fall's strike during the Christmas season, we lost about $150 million," he said.


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