Campbell Riverites can expect to get a letter any day now advising them of where their new community mailbox will be located, according to Canada Post.
Gilles Chagnon, relations manager for Canada Post, sent an email to the city on Monday saying that households will soon receive a letter with community mailbox location information, as well as instructions on how to access an online map showing the location of the mailbox.
“Customers should very soon be receiving a letter which will provide them with the location of the community mailbox that will serve their household,” Chagnon wrote. “Customers should begin receiving the letter over the next few days.”
The letter, which will be mailed to the 8,543 Campbell River households who still receive home delivery, says that the community mailbox locations were determined through careful planning.
“We considered safety, street lighting and sidewalk access, as well as survey feedback from your neighbourhood, in choosing this site,” states the letter from Mary Traversy, senior vice-president of business transformation with Canada Post.
The letter goes on to say that once the boxes are installed, a key to the mailbox will be provided and residents will be notified once delivery to the community mailbox has begun.
At Monday night’s council meeting, Ron Neufeld, acting city manager, said Canada Post has been in contact with city staff regarding the location of the 270, plus or minus, community boxes.
He said the city’s focus has been on logistics and whether or not the locations conflicted with driveways, utilities, street lighting, or city infrastructure.
Neufeld added that specific neighbourhood complaints from homeowners have all been directed to Canada Post.
“My understanding is Canada Post is being responsive and following through on those types of responses,” Neufeld said.
But Coun. Charlie Cornfield disagreed and said there’s been a lack of consultation since day one.
“I’m a little concerned on this one,” Cornfield said. “I guess I must be lucky because I haven’t received any communication from Canada Post at all, so there must not be a box going in near my house or in my general neighbourhood.”
Cornfield said there has been a lack of public consultation, which Canada Post representatives, including Chagnon, promised when they made a presentation to council on March 23.
“I’ve been very disappointed with it,” Cornfield said. “I think it’s been very poorly handled by Canada Post and I feel like it’s been rammed down our throats. As much as I’d like to be kind to them, I don’t think they were open and honest with us at the last meeting.”
Campbell River is one of several communities in Canada this year that will be converted to community mailboxes, starting this fall.
On the Island, Victoria, Langford, Colwood, Saanich, Esquimalt, View Royal, Sidney and North Saanich will also see the end of home delivery. A portion of Calgary; Fort McMurray; parts of Winnipeg; Oakville, Ont.; Kanata, Ont.; and parts of Montreal and Halifax were converted to community mailboxes last year.
Canada Post has said home delivery is no longer financially sustainable as Canadians have 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.
Canada Post attributes last year’s financial success to an increase in parcels shipped, higher stamp prices and reduced employee benefit costs.
While the amount of parcels shipped increased, Canada Post delivered 214 million fewer pieces of regular mail than in 2013.