A Dorval man has dumped a pile of black soil - on the strip of his lawn that belongs to the city, all in the hopes of preventing a community mailbox from being built in that spot.
Photo Credit: Submitted by Hans Dybka

Opposition to Canada Post’s end of home mail delivery grows

From individual acts of protest to municipalities fighting back, opposition to the end of home delivery of mail is growing slowly across Canada.

Canada Post, the federal government agency that has always delivered mail announced in December 2013 it would raise postal rates significantly in 2014 and stop all delivery of mail directly to houses by 2019.

The phasing out of so-called “door-to-door” delivery began in October 2014 when the first several thousand residents and businesses in a few communities were cut from home delivery and had to walk to neighbourhood  community mailboxes or “superboxes”.

An example of the community mailboxes that are being installed across the country to replace home delivery of mail to indivual houses and businesses. © CBC

The claim is that the Crown corporation will save vast sums of money by simplifying delivery and cutting thousands of mail delivery personnel. Many dispute the savings claim, noting that Canada Post has to buy the expensive mailboxes, contract for snow clearing, maintenance, and cleanup of papers left around the boxes.

It should be noted that since the 1980’s, new housing developments have had these mailboxes installed in neighbourhoods, while existing housing and businesses  have continued to benefit from delivery to their door.

Interviewed by CBC in 2013, this postal worker said home delivery of mail was still important because the population is aging and will face difficulty even hazards, getting to their community box in winter. © CBC
Jan 2014: In addition to complaints about vandalism and theft from community boxes, many complain about inadequate snow clearing to reach the boxes. © (Submitted by Trudy MacDonald

However those older established areas have been seeing the new community boxes being installed and home delivery ended, and they’re not happy.

One man near Montreal has launched his own protest, first blocking the proposed installation site in front of his home with dirt, and then getting a local building permit for a driveway.  A requirement exists that any community mailbox must be three metres away from a driveway.

The first four metres of this lawn are technically on city property, although Hans Dybka says he’s been responsible for mowing and maintaining the entire property for the 30 years he’s lived there. He has posted several signs on and around his property to “Save door-to-door” delivery. © Submitted by Hans Dybka)

Canada Post response was to try to divide the neighbourhood by saying the man’s action will only inconvenience neighbours who will have to travel further for their mail.

Meanwhile, a much more significant action has been taken by the large city of Hamilton Ontario.

This week in a special meeting, council  passed an amendment to its  Roads-Equipment Installation Bylaw saying Canada Post must pay $200 for the city to inspect any potential new mailbox location.

Canada Post’s response was to say that the Canada Post Corporation Act supercedes municipal bylaws and it doesn’t have to heed the bylaw.

Workers from a local landscaping contractor hired by Canada Post, lay a concrete pad for a future “super mailbox” on Thursday. The city is looking at fining Canada Post under a new law it passed on Wednesday that’s drawing national attention. © Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Canada Post has offered municipalities $50 per site to cover any

Municipal issues related to installation sites. In Hamilton, it told local contractors to proceed with preparing sites for the mailboxes.

The new bylaw means the city could charge the local contractor and/or Canada Post, although no charges have yet been laid. Some 1,000 boxes are planned in the initial installation phase for the city where eventually 4,000 boxes will replace all home delivery for the city.

It is not clear whether the city or Canada Post will challenge the situation in court.

Municipalities across Canada are passing resolutions and public meetings, but Hamilton is the first to pass a law of this kind, said Denis Lemelin, president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. (CUPW)

The postal union has been fighting the move with a legal challenge to the ending of home delivery and the jobs of as many as eight thousand postal workers.

Categories: Economy, Politics, Society
Tags: , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

For reasons beyond our control, and for an undetermined period of time, our comment section is now closed. However, our social networks remain open to your contributions.