Public hearings being held in some Canadians cities on the loss of door-to-door mail delivery

Members of the community speak out on the cuts to postal service home delivery. 

Ottawa (27 Jan. 2015) — Door-to-door mail delivery to homes is being eliminated right across the country but some communities are refusing to give it up.  Public hearings were held in Montreal, Québec last week to discuss the impact of the loss of home delivery on residents.

Concerns unresolved over cutting postal delivery

Canada Post, backed by the Conservative government, announced the elimination of home mail delivery in many West Island and South Shore communities citing decreased letter volumes and decreased profits. Starting this spring the communities of Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Pointe Claire, Kirkland, Lachine, Pierrefonds-Roxboro, L'Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, Longueuil, Brossard and Saint-Lambert will lose their door-to-door mail delivery and be moved to community mailboxes.

Despite Canada Post claims recent reports have shown that Canada Post is profitable and while letter volumes may be down, the amount of packages and junk mail have increased. 

Westmount Mayor Peter Trent remains unconvinced that the cuts to service are the right way to go. As reported in the Montreal Gazette, Trent said, "It's a draconian solution." He criticizes the lack of public discussion and consultation on this issue and has committed to blocking any attempt to construct community mailboxes on city property. 

Presentations from groups for people with disabilities and others

“Canada Post’s decision is mind-boggling,” said Karine Triollet of Action-Gardien, a roundtable group representing the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood. “Seniors and people with limited mobility unable to go pick up their mail, mailboxes that pollute and spoil neighbourhoods, and thousands of jobs being lost… Has the Corporation forgotten its mandate to ensure a quality public service?”

Canada Post’s public relations attempts to have people with disabilities complete a form and have it signed by a doctor in order to continue to receive home delivery are apparently not working.

“We urge our members and communities not to complete this form or have it filled out by a doctor,” said an indignant Linda Gauthier, President of the Regroupement des activistes pour l'inclusion au Québec (RAPLIQ).”If they do, Canada Post will be able to manipulate people any way it wants.”

Canada Post conducted sham consultations prior to decision

MP Alain Giguère, who has seen the problems firsthand in his riding, sharply criticized the failure of Canada Post to consult with the affected communities as “amateurish and disrespectful.”

“Before announcing these cuts, Canada Post held invite-only meetings in just 46 communities, published misleading financial forecasts and clearly did not consider the consequences for seniors or people with mobility issues,” said Alain Duguay, President of the Montreal Local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. “Montreal has just shown us what really listening to the public looks like. We now hope that other municipalities will follow suit and hold their own public consultations.”

Hundreds of municipalities oppose the move

Since the announcement of the postal service cuts, in December 2013, hundreds of municipalities have passed resolutions or sent letters supporting door-to-door delivery, in many cases calling for a halt to delivery changes until there is proper consultation.

“2014 will be one of Canada Post’s most profitable years,” pointed out Duguay. “It should use its profits to improve services, not take them away.”

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