OTTAWA — The head of Canada’s postal service has announced he plans to step down next spring, nearly three years before his contract was set to expire.Canada Post says Deepak Chopra has advised the Crown corporation’s board of directors that he intends leave his position on March 31, 2018.Chopra’s signalled departure comes as the federal Liberal government ruminates about whether to restore door-to-door mail delivery to tens of thousands of homes.The former Pitney Bowes Canada executive joined the agency in 2011 as it faced a dramatic shift in revenue streams, from declining mail volumes to a growing parcel delivery business.The previous Conservative government had renewed his contract prior to the 2015 election, effective Feb. 2016, despite criticisms of Canada Post’s cost-cutting moves, including the phase-out of door-to-door delivery.The move to community mailboxes became a hot topic during the 2015 campaign, with the Liberals winning power under a platform that included a promise to review the home delivery decision.Once in office, the Liberals placed a moratorium on any future conversions of home delivery to community mailboxes.A spokesperson for Public Services and Procurement Minister Judy Foote, who has been on leave from her cabinet post, said a decision on the future of home delivery was expected some time before the end of 2017.The president of the union representing postal workers said he hopes Chopra’s departure signals an end to cost-cutting at Canada Post and a renewed commitment by the postal agency to maintain the services Canadians want.Chopra leaves “a legacy of failed cuts,” said Canadian Union of Postal Workers national president Mike Palecek.“So, hopefully this will be a new chapter for Canada Post.”Chopra was among dozens of people appointed to plum patronage posts in the dying days of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government who were asked, once the Liberals took power, to voluntarily step down.Chopra, who was reportedly paid an estimated $500,000 annually, declined to do so.In a statement, Canada Post said Chopra has left an enduring legacy that has positioned the corporation as the country’s leader in e-commerce delivery in the face of declining mail deliveries, noting that the agency delivered two billion fewer pieces of mail last year than at its peak in 2006.The agency said Chopra had also co-operated with the government as it reviewed the mandate of Canada Post.
Dwayne Haskins and J.T. Barrett take a photo with Brutus at the 2018 Spring Game on April 14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignFor the past four seasons, Ohio State has been J.T. Barrett’s team. In 50 career games for the Buckeyes, the Wichita Falls, Texas native broke 25 school records at quarterback, including career passing yards (9,434) and touchdowns in a single season (47). He also holds the Big Ten conference record for career offensive yards (12,697), passing touchdowns (104) and career touchdowns (147). Going into the 2018 football season, Barrett will be donning black and gold for the New Orleans Saints instead of scarlet and gray. With former Ohio State quarterback Joe Burrow transferring to LSU during the offseason, the Buckeyes will have redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins as the primary signal caller to start the season. The former four-star recruit out of Potomac, Maryland, has had limited playing time throughout his college career. Last season, Haskins played in eight games for the Buckeyes, completing 70.2 percent of his passes for 565 yards, averaging 14.1 yards per completion. He also threw four touchdowns, including two against UNLV on Sept. 24, and one interception. Haskins will bring something Ohio State has not seen much of during head coach Urban Meyer’s tenure: a pass-heavy offensive approach. Haskins is the first pro-style quarterback to begin the season as the starter outside of the 2015 season in which Barrett and former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones shared first-team reps. Ohio State caught a glimpse of what Haskins could be like as the starter in big-game situations last season against Michigan.After Barrett left the game with a knee injury in the third quarter, Haskins completed 6-of-7 pass attempts for 94 yards and recorded 24 rushing yards on three carries, helping give the Buckeyes a 31-20 win against the Wolverines despite coming in with a six-point deficit. However, even with the ability to scramble inside the pocket to evade defenders, Haskins has never been a quarterback to tuck-and-run at the first sign of trouble. This will be different for those used to Barrett, who had 12 rushing touchdowns last season. When asked about how the offense would change if Haskins were the starting quarterback during spring practice, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day said there would always be an element of the run-pass option in the Ohio State offense. However, he said he would use the plays and playbook that fit him best. Haskins will not have to do it alone though. All six of the receivers that led Ohio State in yards per game will return for the 2018 season, including redshirt senior H-back Parris Campbell and redshirt senior wide receiver Johnnie Dixon. In the running game, Ohio State will still have two backs to choose from in sophomore J.K. Dobbins and redshirt junior Mike Weber who, along with Barrett, helped the Buckeyes to the best rush offense in the Big Ten during the 2017 season by averaging 243.2 yards per game. Even if Meyer wants a dual-threat option at quarterback at points during the season, Ohio State has redshirt freshman quarterback Tate Martell. As the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback recruit in the 2017 class, the Las Vegas native recorded 35 rushing touchdowns along with 113 passing touchdowns in his high school career at Bishop Gorman.Going into fall camp with the Sept. 1 game against Oregon State approaching, Haskins will enter the season as the guy for Ohio State. However, with his highly anticipated throwing ability and leadership, even in his first ever stint as the starter, the expectation still remains where Barrett left it: to lead a playoff contender.