City council is supporting Canadian postal workers who want the federal government to reverse Canada Post’s plans to eliminate door-to-door mail delivery.
Council, at its Monday night meeting, endorsed asking the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to request the federal government consult with the public before allowing Canada Post to move forward with the changes.
But it may be too little too late. Home delivery has already been scrapped in Calgary, Winnipeg, Fort McMurray, and the Ottawa suburb of Kanata.
Still, after receiving a letter from Denis Lemelin, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, council agreed that more discussion is necessary.
Coun. Larry Samson said he has several concerns with Canada Post’s move to not only end home delivery but downsize and close some post offices.
“It’s not only going to have an impact on the employees but the services to our population,” said Samson who added he’s also not happy with “changes on the downloading to our municipalities such as the location of these (community mailboxes) affecting safety as vehicles turn off and stop, and the maintenance and long-term complications of the upkeep of (the mailboxes).”
In Campbell River, Canada Post has served notice that it will be converting 8,543 households who still have door-to-door delivery to community postal boxes; that’s expected to take effect this fall.
Mayor Andy Adams said Monday night that the previous council did receive a binder full of information informing the city of its intentions and the city was asked for comment.
Adams said while he was supportive of council’s motion to ask the federal government to consult with the public over the changes, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities already dealt with the issue last year.
“This was a very hotly debated topic at FCM last June and the majority of FCM delegates voted not to support such a motion,” Adams said, “but I see no harm in putting our concerns forward.”
Coun. Charlie Cornfield said he took issue with how Canada Post handled the situation.
“I think the communities were left out,” Cornfield said.
“What bothered me particularly about how Canada Post has gone about this is I don’t think that they properly consulted with us. I know I’ve received surveys in the mail but it wasn’t about whether I wanted to see boxes or not boxes, but it was how far away do you want your (community mailbox) and that was the sum total of it.
“I don’t consider that consultation to find out what we need,” Cornfield added. “I was pretty disappointed with it and the way it was undertaken.”
According to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Canada Post has closed 40 urban and 75 rural post offices since 2012 and more closures are expected.
Door-to-door delivery is expected to end to five million Canadian households within the next couple of years which the union says will create problems for seniors and people with mobility issues and will destroy 6,000 to 8,000 jobs.
Canada Post also hiked the price of single stamps by 59 per cent on March 31 of last year and the price of buying a book of stamps to 35 per cent.
The corporation announced those plans last year, citing financial losses due to a decrease in mail because of increasing use of online services.
According to Canada Post, Canadians in 2013 sent nearly 1.2 billion fewer pieces of mail than they did in 2006.