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International Context Changes on the Horizon

By the end of 1926, the government's attitude towards airmail service had changed drastically, and the Minister of Postal Services announced the decision to create a coast-to-coast aerial postal service. The United States and several European countries had been operating such services since the end of the First World War; the time had come for Canada to catch up.

A number of reasons prompted the government decision:

1. The prospect of American competition

The U.S. aerial postal service had been established in 1918; all parts of the country were linked by several air postal routes. By 1926, mail delivery contracts were being awarded to private airlines, and it was feared that these companies would add major Canadian cities to their networks, making the Canadian system nothing more than a U.S. subsidiary.

2. The dire need for a national policy on aviation

By the 1920s, the aviation industry in general had made tremendous progress; in Canada, the industry was in need of regulation and supervision. In 1927, the Canadian government admitted that U.S. and European aerial postal services could pose a threat to Canada. Airports were constructed, new and more efficient airplanes were created, and improvements were made to communication technologies and weather forecasts, all with a view to establishing a Canadian aerial postal service. The first step in the new service was the opening of the experimental Rimouski-Montreal section.

3. The wish to provide aerial postal service in all parts of Canada

Canada's economic development and a steady growth in population accentuated the need for efficient postal communication between the diverse regions of the country, further encouraging the government to set up a regular aerial postal service throughout Canada.



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