There are two reasons why this is not a public issue. The first is that Canada Post does not operate under government funding, per say. It pulls in a profit yearly, so it covers it's own cost and alittle extra every year. So this has already eliminated it being a tax payer issue.
Now, as far as the strike affecting people... It didn't. The workers decided to do a rolling strike, which would have delayed the mail in select areas and not fully stopped it. Canada Post, the corporation itself, decided to lock out the employee's, shutting down the mail service completely. This was to force the government to step in and legislate the, even though the employee's were more than willing to work while negotiations continued.
As far as being an essential service goes... It is only an essential service because people want it to be. Canada Post is to shipping as Subway is to sandwich shacks. More than half of the arguments in this thread you can replace them with a comparison of Subway and Mr. Sub. "Oh ones too expensive" "One sucks more than the other, ect." My sandwich eatery is not an essential service, and my prefferencial shipping method isn't either. There are other options, maybe not as comparable on price, but may offer more delicious services. This is what defined it being a normal service, and not essential. UPS, DHL, Fedex, Purolator(Owned by CP, funny enough, and is still running.) I said in an earlier post that many things that are essential service are not deemed an "essential service" if given enough time. With the Canada Post strike looming for a significant time, a business should have a contigency plan in place in the situation CP does get shut down. Complaining that your business is hurting because you did not have propper forecasting and business decisions to minimize collateral damage is not anyone elses fault. Period.
My business opted to use ATS during this time period. While this is slightly more expensive than using Canada Post, it's also not really hitting our bottom line. I didn't have any special secret, I just set up an account with them.
The entire time this thread, and other places on the internet, I've wanted to post in and write a long debate. I used to write editorials... But seeing how people respond in this thread, I'm not going to invest for the long haul. I'm just writing this while at work because I have nothing better to do right now. These workers have done nothing wrong to you, and a majority of problem this has is from poor planning on the users fault(ie you). A few people have mail stuck in the system, but you need to blame the corporation and the government for that. You all have hatred for the carriers themself, but you hail the government and the corporation as heroes when they were the ones who shut down your mail. They didn't do anything to you, and they are the ones who are going to get screwed long term because of this. It's absolutely disrespectful and mindless.