More than one “shocked and appalled” loyal reader of the Globe and Mail glanced at the front page headline of the Dec. 18, 2013 edition of Canada’s Newspaper of Record and reasonably assumed that the paper had been hacked and commandeered by its satirical rival, The Onion.
“Canada Post CEO defends delivery cuts, says seniors will get more exercise,” trumpeted the Globe’s lead story of the day. It was all part of the sneaky lost-in-the-Christmas-rush announcement by the Stephen Harper government that postal service in the True North is over. Well, not officially over, since there will still be some postal delivery to shopping mall community mailbox centres, the elimination of thousands of post office jobs, and, as always with such announcements of reform and improvement, a major hike in stamp prices.
Now the CEO of Canada Post was being rollled out in front of a parliamentary committee to offer some rationale for making millions of Canadians strap on their snowshoes and hike vast distances to pick up an envelope containing their Hydro bill.
In the deadpan prose of the Globe (or maybe The Onion), the paper reported, “Canada Post’s top executive says ending home delivery and shifting millions of Canadians to community mail boxes offers at least one upside – more exercise for seniors.
“Making his first public appearance since the post office announced a controversial plan to stem mounting losses, Canada Post chief executive Deepak Chopra cast the austerity moves as a careful balance… ‘The seniors are telling me, I want to be healthy, I want to be active in my life,’ Mr. Chopra tolds MPs. ‘They want to be living fuller lives.’”
Wait a minute. Deepak Chopra? Did you know Deepak Chopra was the CEO of Canada Post?! Neither did we.
Ok, not Deepak Chopra, the famous guru who teaches people (for a small fee) how to achieve happiness and conquer death in a universe chock-full of pulsating omni-consciousness. No, our Deepak Chopra is the former CEO of various branches of Pitney-Bowes, the office business machine company who has now risen to the $450,000 per annum post of Chief Postie.
Our Deepak Chopra is the one who thinks layabout seniors need to avail themselves of more exercise. Let them eat snow!, declares the postal guru. Ah, whatever happened to those bygone days when the proletarian Union of Postal Workers delivered brilliant ex tempore Trotskyist analyses of the fall of capitalism even as it heroically trudged through the slush to deliver those Xmas greetings from Aunt Minnie in Moose Jaw?