Cheques will no longer be in the mail as federal government moves to direct deposit

The Canadian Press ~ staff The Guardian
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The federal government won't be able to use that time-honoured stalling tactic - the cheque is in the mail - much longer.

It's phasing out the use of government cheques to deliver payments to Canadians over the next four years.

It will rely instead on direct deposit, saving some $17.4 million a year and reducing paper consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions while it's at it.

The government estimates that it costs about 82 cents to issue a cheque, whereas a direct-deposit payment costs only 13 cents.

The federal receiver general issues about 300 million payments each year, almost 77 per cent of which are already made by direct deposit.

The government is aiming to stop issuing cheques altogether by April 2016 - except for Canadians in remote locations with no access to a nearby financial institution or other similar "exceptional circumstances."

"The government of Canada is committed to using taxpayer dollars wisely," Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose said in a news release Wednesday.

"Increasing the use of direct deposit will contribute significant savings through the reduction in the use of paper and related cheque-printing and delivery costs."

Citizens and businesses currently receiving federal government cheques have the next four years to register to receive payments by direct deposit.

Information on enrolling for direct deposit payments can be found at http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/recgen/txt/index-eng.html.

 

Geographic location: Canada

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Recent comments

  • jake
    July 07, 2014 - 19:42

    our freedom of choice is slowly being taken away and because they would like you to think they are doing you a favor, making life easier for you when it's about controlling every part of your life. They will always tell you it's in your best interest.. They call us sheeple..

  • small town banker
    September 27, 2013 - 12:14

    I work in a bank and you wouldnt believe how many govt cheques get put into the wrong mail box and someone else tries to sign the back and get them cashed. Direct deposit helps you against fraudsters and your cheque landing in the wrong hands. Plus banks do have low fee accounts and also no fee accounts to help people out. If your broke and cant afford a bank account then you need to shop around for a different bank maybe and just a little FYI welfare cheques have ben mandatory direct deposit in our town for a feqw years now and those are the poorest people are they not?

  • small town banker
    September 27, 2013 - 12:12

    I work in a bank and you wouldnt believe how many govt cheques get put into the wrong mail box and someone else tries to sign the back and get them cashed. Direct deposit helps you against fraudsters and your cheque landing in the wrong hands. Plus banks do have low fee accounts and also no fee accounts to help people out. If your broke and cant afford a bank account then you need to shop around for a different bank maybe and just a little FYI welfare cheques have ben mandatory direct deposit in our town for a feqw years now and those are the poorest people are they not?

  • civil citizen
    August 24, 2013 - 02:34

    I believe that direct deposit should be a choice like receiving your payment in Cash. A check is similar to being paid in cash and you can get your employer to cash it for you where as direct deposit you are being forced to have it deposited into your account. This is taking freedom of choice away from Canadian citizens. The choice of choosing a cashing location, whether you want to hold a bank account or just go into any bank to cash the check. I hate having a bank account as it puts someone in too much power over my money. With a gov't check it can be cashed at any institute in Canada with just a piece of ID. Also a bank account can have problems and be infiltrated as well so your money is no safer with them then it would be if you just cashed the check and payed in cash.

  • mike
    August 12, 2013 - 15:07

    What about banking fees? They should be outlawed as the poor who are forced to use a bank will have thier money chipped away with fees that they then give to the wealthy as a :bonus" this is wrong and needs to be reversed.

  • duckworth
    April 13, 2012 - 18:39

    ME...........a chocolate bar or gum costs more than a letter is to mail.Could have e mailed it then or try bringing back the carrier pidgeon. As far as we know the stage mail coach is not in use anymore. Its 2012 Everythings going up.

  • yepp
    April 12, 2012 - 11:40

    ITS ALSO A GREAT WINFALL FOR THE BANKS WHO CAN CHIP AWAY AT IT WITH REDICULOUS BANKING FEES

  • Ulfric
    April 12, 2012 - 11:20

    Eventually all Mailmen will deliver is fliers and collections letters. Then they will have no power to strike.

  • Townie
    April 12, 2012 - 08:33

    This is an excellent idea. The cost savings of paper, ink, envelopes, stamps, machinery/people to stuff the envelopes, it goes on and on. All this will save time, money and even more importantly the environment. Plus people will get their money sooner as they won't have to wait for Canada Post to deliver it. If your paranoid about banks, then you can go to the bank and withdraw it immediately. You'd have to go cash it anyways. ~The Original Townie

  • Shirley
    April 12, 2012 - 08:30

    Just keep your fingers crossed that there will be money left to have a cheque deposited to our accounts each month.

  • Justine Thyme
    April 12, 2012 - 04:44

    Forcing you to have a bank account?? Keep your money under your mattress then, makes it easier for someone else to steal it from you. Foolishness. This will save money, speed up services and benefit many, including trees. Can we really find something negative in this? Really??

    • Ann
      April 12, 2012 - 11:48

      Justine, what money am I keeping under my mattress? Like a lot of people in this day and age there is little left after paying rent, bills, gas, and groceries. Anything left over usually fits in a piggy bank and God help the fool who risks breaking in for that pitance because he must need it more than me. Direct deposit is great for those it works for and that is why it should remain a CHOICE.

  • oh reALly
    April 11, 2012 - 20:52

    Having a bank account is now mandated by the government. The final nail in the coffin of financial sovereignty.

    • C
      April 11, 2012 - 23:38

      I am sure "exceptional circumstances" covers people who do not have bank accounts. Cause really, in 2012 who doesn't have a bank account? I do understand why someone would not want to have a bank account, don't get me wrong on that.

  • Ann
    April 11, 2012 - 20:45

    First our government forces the public to use internet to access forms, services, and information that we use to have access to by mail. Then they changed television transmission regulations so the public has to have cable in order to access networks we used to watch for free like CBC & CTV. Now they are forcing the public to have an active bank account. This is OUR money the government is issuing to us, they should not be able to force us to receive payment by direct deposit only. I'm sure internet service providers, cable providers, and banks are reaping huge benefits from all these changes. Kinda makes me wonder what they are giving our government in return... Big brother just keeps getting bigger.

    • Ed
      April 12, 2012 - 07:05

      How can anyone in this day and age not have a bank account? Most employers insist on pay direct deposit. If it really is your (our) money, you would think that you would be interested in saving $17 Million a year instead of "the cheque is in the mail".

    • Harper Hater
      April 12, 2012 - 08:32

      Well said Ann. And yes, it's starting to get a little unnerving. He's destroying everything we stand for.

    • Townie
      April 12, 2012 - 10:13

      To Harper Hater, What do you stand for? The decimation of trees? The frivolous wasting of money that could be spent elsewhere or just plain not spent? Those are the only things being destroyed by this move. ~The Original Townie

    • Ann
      April 12, 2012 - 11:57

      to Ed- You assume that anyone in receipt of a government cheque is employed. Most government cheques still being sent by mail are probably pension and old age, or disability. Not all of these people can leave their homes, or only get out when they have help. I know my uncle, before he passed away, would have someone collect his mail. He then signed the cheque at home, and gave that trusted family member the cheque to cash so they could go pay his bills and do his groceries. No bank account needed.

    • Ed
      April 13, 2012 - 19:04

      ANN- First, I din't assume anything. Secondly, you make a very convoluted argument.Your uncle gets his cheque in the mail,( annual cost of cheques $17Million), a trusted relative takes it to the BANK, where it should have been in the first place. Most, if not all major banks have no fee chequing for senior citizens.The best argument I have heard from seniors is that they like to see their cheque and hold it in their hands as if direct deposit was some kind of smoke and mirrors. This is 2012, not 1912.

  • ME
    April 11, 2012 - 18:12

    Totally agree re this direct deposit...I am still wondering where my mail is from the strike last June because when it was over I expected a bunch of mail and never got it. I am also pissed off with stamps cost going up. I recently enclosed a recipe card that was folded over in a letter, and because of that it cost me double to post the letter. So the post office really ticks me off as they are way overcharging. I am delighted with this decision regarding direct deposit.

    • YEPP
      April 12, 2012 - 11:45

      MAYBE YOU DIDNT GET ANY MAIL BECAUSE THERE WAS A STRIKE SO NOBODY SENT YOU ANY MAIL