In an effort to encourage Canadians to keep in touch during the pandemic, Canada Post is sending every household a free postcard to mail to a loved one.
Starting Monday,13.5 million postage-paid postcards will begin arriving at every residential address across the country.
“I think that everyone has missed weddings and funerals and birthday celebrations, and we’ve all missed people and loved ones across the country,” said Sylvie Lapointe, a spokesperson with Canada Post in Ottawa.
A postcard is one way to tell people they’re on your mind, she said.
The Canada Post Write Here Write Now campaign aims to help Canadians connect through letter writing.
Each household will receive one of six designs, including messages such as “Wishing I were there/Tu me manques” and “Sending smiles/Je t’embrasse.”
People can drop the postcards off in any community mailbox or post office and address them to anywhere in Canada.
“Meaningful connection is vital for our emotional health, sense of community and overall well-being,” said Doug Ettinger, president and CEO of Canada Post, in a news release.
“Canada Post wants everyone to stay safe but also stay in touch with the people who matter to them.”
Increase in people reaching out
The campaign comes at a time when traditional letter mail has been in steep decline.
In its 2019 report, the Crown corporation said the number of letters and paper bills sent to people’s homes fell by 55 per cent since 2006. Yet, spokesperson Lapointe believes the pandemic likely made a dent in that decline, especially over the holiday season.
“We’ve seen an increase in the past year in people needing, wanting to reach out to each other,” she said. “Over Christmas time, we saw the red and the green envelopes going through our operations in high volume.”
The global pandemic has posed major challenges to Canada Post but also resulted in more parcel mail as limits on in-person shopping drove consumers online. However, Canada Post said that explosion in home parcel deliveries was not enough to offset revenue losses caused by a drop in letter mail and extra operational-safety costs.
With the cost of a single stamp sitting at $1.07 — or $0.92 if purchased in a booklet — Canada Post’s free postcard endeavour could also come with a hefty price tag.
Lapointe said she didn’t know the total cost of the postcard campaign but that the infrastructure is already in place to deliver them.