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Canada/Covers & Postmarks : Lack of postmarks and non-cancellation of stamps

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jthurd
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18 Dec 2020
02:57:00pm
Today I received six items delivered in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada by Canada Post. All six were cards, five of them Christmas cards. All six had a single self-adhesive postage stamp affixed in the usual position on the upper right corner of the envelope. None were oversize; one was over the basic weight category and had a $1.30 single stamp.

Of the six, four were of local origin (in the Ottawa area), one came from Toronto, and one from southwestern Ontario.

Two of the six had cancellations on the stamps, and although both were mailed locally -- within the confines of the amalgamated city of Ottawa -- each bore a dated cancellation in Quebec at the regional sorting plant denoted by postal code H4T.

Of the six, the other four bore no postmark nor any cancellation on the stamp or the envelope -- neither front nor back. These four included the two from outside the region, plus two of the items of local origin.

That means that of this very small sample, two-thirds (66.67 percent) of what we used to call first-class mail show no evidence of any postal marking on the covers nor any cancellation on the stamps.

Surely this has implications for the future of both stamp and postal history collecting, to say nothing of a lack of evidence of handling by the government-established postal delivery service for items entrusted to "the Royal mail".

I would be interested in any observations by others of your experience in receiving mail in this season. I realize we are in the midst of a global pandemic, but surely automated sorting and cancelling machines are still in use -- or are they? Apart from the need to cancel stamps to prevent re-use, there is a need to ensure that there is a record of the date that items are posted. Might there be a need to draw this deficiency to the attention of the postal authorities and those who govern them?

J. T. Hurd,
Ottawa, ON.
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phos45
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18 Dec 2020
03:37:15pm
re: Lack of postmarks and non-cancellation of stamps

aircraft globally are grounded ... 2 books from DE took 6 mos to ARR.

SEAPOST COMMON

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sheepshanks
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18 Dec 2020
03:44:53pm
re: Lack of postmarks and non-cancellation of stamps

When I pick my post up, if it is uncancelled I go to the counter and stamp them myself, they may have a Neepawa franking rather than the Canadian place of origin but when soaked off who would ever know. At least now they have some value, however slight.

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anglobob
18 Dec 2020
04:24:33pm
re: Lack of postmarks and non-cancellation of stamps

From August to October,all my internet purchases were sent to my son in California amd eventually they were forwarded to me.I had 11 letters from Canada,all with stamps attached.Only one was actually franked.The others had no markings at all.not even the dreaded marker monkey !!

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
18 Dec 2020
04:55:31pm
re: Lack of postmarks and non-cancellation of stamps

None of my emails have any cancels on them at all.

But seriously, First Class mail is done, stick a fork in it. They know this and are just riding out the last decade or so while trying to transition to parcel services. They are decommissioning first class handling equipment, mailboxes and human resources that are dedicated to first class mail and instead evolving to parcel handling. Younger folks, and even some in this community, tout ‘green’ and other sustainable behaviors. There is nothing more wasteful than requiring a postal system to visit every mailbox in an area; especially when there is little or no mail to deliver. The ‘last mile’ cost will be more and more become a burden on many levels. (Human communicate in many ways has moved to digital and this trend will continue in the future. One day humans will colonize places other than earth, obviously no postal system will sending mail out to mailboxes on some moon somewhere.)

I think we are witnessing the phasing out of first class mail. Missing cancellations, stamps, and the rest of first class mail support are no longer a primary concern. And with just cause; last year in the US first class mail volume dropped to the levels it was 45 years ago. While I appreciate the nostalgia of our hobby, time does not stop for melancholy but rather marches relentingly forward with or without us.
Don

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Benque
18 Dec 2020
05:19:12pm
re: Lack of postmarks and non-cancellation of stamps

Reading this now, and loving it: Postmarked the Stars, by Andre Norton. I really enjoy her books.
https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1401924980l/22404551.jpg

I hope the image shows. Written in 1969, I wonder what THAT future would use for postmarks.

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lerivage
19 Dec 2020
01:00:26pm
re: Lack of postmarks and non-cancellation of stamps

This is Christmas season. I mailed recently 130 copies of our annual letter (wy wife wrote them) from France to (mainly) the U.S. and Quebec, plus a few to European places. Most of them arrived within four days. On the other way we received a lot of Christmas cards. All of them were either unfranked or franked with a stroke. A shame for the franking, a kudo for the delivery

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