Canada Post will pay to build mailbox sites

Canada Post will pay the city for each community mailbox it constructs on city property

Canada Post will pay the city for each community mailbox it constructs on city property.

Sara Brodie, the city’s development engineering and building supervisor, said Canada Post has signed off on an agreement that will pay the city $50 per site. She said just under 300 community mailboxes will be built on city property.

“The agreement was signed last week by both parties,” Brodie said. “The agreement outlines all the requirements the city was asking for.”

In a July letter to Canada Post’s board of directors, Mayor Andy Adams asks Canada Post to agree to three conditions.

“We request that, prior to construction of the community mailboxes, Canada Post enters into an agreement with the city addressing the following: payment for work on City Lands permit fee of $50 per site location, insurance naming the City of Campbell River as an additional insured and having $3 million in liability coverage, (and) other standard requirements in acquiring a Work on City Lands permit such as culvert drawings, retaining wall drawings, and a full environmental development area review,” Adams wrote. “Please note that without the above mentioned items, the city cannot grant any Work on City Lands permits and will not allow any construction on city property.”

The letter is dated July 6 and at the time it was written Adams notes that Canada Post had entered the construction phase of the project and had yet to receive any items from the corporation “to indicate its intent to apply for the City’s Work on City Lands permit.”

Brodie said Canada Post negotiated the $50 fee with the city just last week – the same time construction of the mailbox sites got underway.

Canada Post has sent out letters to residents in most neighbourhoods informing citizens of where their new community mailbox will be located come mid-September when Canada Post plans to phase out home delivery to all Campbell River homes.

Canada Post has said that under the Canada Post Act, it has the exclusive rights over postal services and can legally install community mailboxes on municipal property.

In Hamilton, that city’s council amended a bylaw to force Canada Post to pay $200 for a permit for each build site.

Canada Post ignored the bylaw and took the case to court, asking for the bylaw to be overturned.

In June, an Ontario judge declared that the $200 permit to build on municipal land did not apply to Canada Post, which promised to work collaboratively with municipalities to find suitable sites to install its mailboxes.

Canada Post’s Susan Margles, in a letter to Campbell River council, acknowledged that the corporation has consulted with city staff on finding appropriate locations.

“Our staff have been collaborating with your officials since the announcement of the conversion in Campbell River,” Margles wrote. “Canada Post has many years of experience selecting suitable locations for the placement of CMBs in residential neighbourhoods. Please be assured that we make every effort to determine the most appropriate locations.”

Brodie said the city is still in the process of reviewing some of Canada Post’s intended mailbox locations based on feedback from residents and conflicts with city utilities.

“The city’s review was primarily based on city traffic concerns as well as underground utility conditions,” Brodie said. “The city also reviewed proposed locations that were in environmentally sensitive areas – primarily ditches, or near streams and the foreshore.”

Once all of the locations are confirmed, the community mailboxes will effectively put an end to door-to-door mail delivery for all of Campbell River. It’s part of the corporation’s plan, which it announced in December, 2013, to eliminate home delivery across the entire country. Roughly 100,000 homes made the transition last year and 900,000 households – including those in Campbell River who still receive home delivery – will be converted before the end of this year.