“Mary is going to her post office in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, to mail a letter. Things have really changed over the past year. Outside, there’s an electric car plugged into the post office’s rapid charging station. Next to it, a mail carrier is loading produce from a local farm into a new Canada Post delivery van — a plug-in hybrid model made in Canada. On the post office’s roof are solar panels, and a wall display tracks how much power they’re generating.

Stepping inside, Mary sees a poster advertising loans for solar panels and energy-saving home retrofits. as the clerk takes her letter at the counter, he explains that the post office is once again offering banking services. With a small loan, tax credits and other incentives, any household, farm or business can become a renewable power generator.”

This quote from the visionary proposal, “Delivering Community Power” is a great example of The Leap come to life. It was written by Canada’s Union of Postal Workers, with support from the Leap team and our ally Dru Oja Jay from Friends of Public Services. The postal union has long been calling for a return of postal banking: a publicly-owned bank to chase away payday lenders and provide low-cost banking services for all. Delivering Community Power combines this obvious public good with the idea of the post office as a hub for energy transition. The result is a truly tangible vision of a 21st century public service that promotes energy democracy, fights inequality, and brings immediate benefits to some of our most vulnerable, remote, and Indigenous communities.

Canada Post is the country’s largest logistics network, with the largest vehicle fleet and more outlets than there are Tim Horton’s doughnut shops. Transforming this cherished public asset into a driver for justice-based economic and energy transition is, well, a truly Leap-ful idea.