The city confirmed this week that Canada Post has begun notifying homeowners who will have a community mailbox put up near their home.
Dave Morris, the city’s general manager of supplies and facilities, told city council at its Tuesday meeting that Canada Post has compiled a preliminary list of locations for the 270 boxes that will be installed by the end of September.
“Our understanding is that Canada Post is contacting the various adjacent homeowners and there’s likely to be some changes based on the homeowners’ input and we continue to work with Canada Post on addressing alternate sites,” Morris said.
Coun. Charlie Cornfield said he’s already heard from a couple of homeowners who are unhappy with how Canada Post has delivered the news.
“I’ve had at least two property owners (say) Canada Post had committed to phone contact, trying three times and if no success then delivering a mailed piece requesting a time they could get together with them, when in fact what they got was a fact sheet showing where the postal box would be in front of their property,” Cornfield said. “Believe me, people are not very happy with that and I think it flies in the face of what Canada Post told us at the previous council meeting. So I’m not very happy and I think we need to do more on it.”
Anick Losier, spokesperson for Canada Post, said the corporation’s protocol has been to go door-to-door to homes that are adjacent to a proposed postal box site and if no one is home, a door knocker is left at the house with a phone number asking the homeowner to get in touch.
“We aim to explain to them why the site was selected and make sure we have not forgotten anything in the planning process,” Losier said. “Should a home owner disagree, there is an escalation process. If he/she makes a suggestion to an alternate location, we have made it our responsibility to investigate any and all suggestions. Ultimately, we are seeking to find the best, most accessible, centralized location for the people the equipment will serve.”
Canada Post’s efforts to convert 8,543 Campbell River households who still receive home delivery to community mailboxes is part of the corporation’s larger plan to completely phase out to-the-door delivery across the entire country.
Gilles Chagnon, manager of municipal engagement for Canada Post, told city council during a presentation March 23 that home delivery is no longer financially sustainable as Canadians mailed 1.2 billion fewer pieces of mail in 2013 than they did in 2006.
The corporation lost $125 million in 2013 but made a profit of $194 million in 2014. The corporation cited an increase in parcels shipped, higher stamp prices and reduced employee benefit costs for its financial success last year.
While the amount of parcels shipped increased, Canada Post delivered 214 million less pieces of regular mail than in 2013.