The cost of mailing letters in Canada has recently increased to as much as 35 percent. The cost of a single, first-class stamp is now $1. Previously, mailing first-class letters within Canada only cost 63 cents.
Canada Post assured letter senders their stamps previously purchased at the lower price will still be accepted. They only need to buy an additional 22-cent stamp to cover the difference.
Canada Post announced in December the stamp price increase along with plans to phase out door-to-door mail delivery to the one-third of homes that still receive it. The Crown Corporation cited it needed to do the scheme to offset rising operational costs and dwindling mail volumes.
But critics said this will hurt Canadian seniors and small business owners who are the firm's most faithful customers.
"It's a concern for those that are not electronically connected. And a lot of seniors aren't," Wendy Armstrong, a policy analyst and an advocate with the Consumers' Association of Alberta, told Calgary Herald.
Also, the "wired world adds on additional costs to any household budget," she said, noting there are some who can't even afford to pay monthly Internet fees.
The stamp increase also poses a concern for small businesses that use the mail to send and receive invoices or communicate with thier customers.
This is the case of Chinook & Hobby West, a family-run shop that specializes in model trains, toys and other collectables. Snail mail is the shop's most preferred tool to send out communications to its clients from parcels to even birthday cards.
"Everybody loves to get a handwritten piece of mail," owner Valerie Gale said.
"But Canada Post is nickel-and-diming all the little guys to death. And that's us: we are the mom and pop store."