CUPW launches national 'Stop Harper' caravan tour today

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Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) is hitting the road to tell Canadians they should tell Harper to hit the road in the next election.

CUPW is kicking off their national Save Canada Post caravan tour in St. John's, Newfoundland today. 

Mike Palecek, CUPW national president, will be travelling across Canada in a 32-foot RV emblazoned with "Save Canada Post, stop the cuts, stop Harper."

"It's part of our campaign to stop the Conservative cuts to the post office," said Palecek. "We're organizing this tour leading up to October 19, to election day, to make sure that people across this country know exactly where the blame lies for these cuts."

The caravan will start with a press conference at Cape Spear, the easternmost point in North America, and a town hall at the post office before setting out across the Maritimes and eventually ending in Victoria.

"We're going to drive this RV into every Tory swing seat in this country and we're going to bring these people down one by one," Palecek said.

The caravan will be on the road for the next 96 days leading up to the federal election.

The tour is protesting cuts to Canada Post announced by the Conservative government in December 2013. The cuts included a stop to home mail delivery, an increase in the price of stamps and shutting down or reducing the size of post offices across the country. 

"It's bad for anybody who values their mail service or for anybody who values public services in general," said Palecek. "This is the only piece of federal infrastructure that touches every community in this country."

These cuts, he says, don't come from a place of financial need. 

"Canada Post is still making a profit to the tune of about $200 million last year. These cuts are politically motivated and they're completely unnecessary," he said.

He believes the government is dismantling its best asset, he said.

What's more, he said, is that Canadians care about home mail delivery

"[People losing door-to-door mail delivery are] all incredibly frustrated, they're all angry. Nobody supports this plan in these neighbourhoods," said Palecek. 

During a seminar he led at the Peoples' Social Forum in Toronto last weekend, Palecek said the Save Canada Post campaign was the easiest thing he'd ever canvassed for because people already support it.

"The great thing about this campaign is that everyone wants to talk to you," he said at the forum.

This October, Palecek hopes people will keep his campaign in mind when they go to the polls. 

"We're asking for people to vote for home mail delivery," he said.


Megan Devlin is rabble's news intern for 2015. She hails from Toronto, but she's starting her Master's in Journalism in Vancouver. She got her start in journalism working at the Western Gazette where she was a news editor for volume 107 and online associate editor for volume 108.

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