This box behind the tennis courts at Centennial Park was one of the first community mailboxes to be installed by Canada Post.

Blaney supports door to door mail delivery

MP Rachel Blaney welcomes a federal government Standing Committee’s recommendation that Canada Post reinstate door-to-door mail delivery.

MP Rachel Blaney welcomes a federal government Standing Committee’s recommendation that Canada Post reinstate door-to-door mail delivery.

Blaney said a Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates’ recent report, “is a step in the right direction.”

“I’m optimistic that people in North Island-Powell River might see improved mail delivery,” Blaney said in a release.

The report, and subsequent recommendations, are the result of work undertaken by a task force that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government appointed in May to review Canada Post’s operations.

The Standing Committee then looked over the input gathered by the task force from various consultants, stakeholders and the public, and recently published the findings in a 200-page report.

Key recommendations include that Canada Post use arbitration and mediation processes effectively to better relations between the corporation and its employees, as well as that Canada Post maintain its focus on excellence in service and explore additional avenues of revenue within its core competencies.

But arguably, for the public, the most note-worthy part of the report is the committee’s conclusion regarding door-to-door delivery.

Home mail delivery was suspended in many communities across Canada in favour of community mailboxes, starting about two years ago.

In October, 2015, however, Canada Post announced it was temporarily suspending that plan, which left some households in Campbell River with door-to-door delivery even though the majority had already switched to community boxes.

The report tries to address that discrepancy with a recommendation that, “Canada Post continue the moratorium on community mailboxes conversion, and develop a plan to re-instate door-to-door delivery for communities that were converted after 3 August, 2015.”

Some Campbell River households made the switch to community mailboxes in September of 2015, though issues with mailbox locations and mix ups with mailbox keys held the conversion up in some areas of the city.

The switch to community mailboxes was part of a Canada-wide initiative to save Canada Post an estimated $500 million each year.

Deepak Chopra, president and chief executive officer of Canada Post, said in the committee’s report that in the face of decreasing mail volumes, Canada Post must transform itself  in order to be sustainable.

“While mail delivery will always be important, parcel delivery is the corporation’s future as online purchases continue to increase,” Chopra said. “There are no easy solutions.”

Blaney said her party, the NDP, has recently proposed postal banking as a new revenue stream for Canada Post, while preserving and enhancing traditional mail service.

Both the Liberals and the Canadian Conservatives, however, have rejected the notion of postal banking.

In the meantime, Canadians will have to wait a little while longer to find out the future of Canada Post.

The government has said that it expects to make a final decision in the spring on whether door-to-door mail delivery will be reinstated.

Blaney said it’s a matter of wait and see and she doesn’t want to get too hopeful yet.