Monday, February 9, 2015

City Council can do more to protect door-to-door mail delivery for Londoners

**for immediate release**                                        Monday February 9, 2015

City Council can do more to protect door-to-door mail delivery for Londoners.

On Tuesday February 3, London’s Civic Works Committee listened to Londoners’ concerns and called for a process of consultation about mail delivery in our communities. The motion calling for further study of the elimination of door to door mail delivery, and a halt to the imposition of ‘super’ mailboxes while the City consults residents, goes to the full City Council on Monday February 9.

                  ‘The motion put by Tanya Park, seconded by Virginia Ridley, shows some councilors really listening to their constituents.’ said David Heap of Londoners for Door to Door, a community group which formed recently to fight these service cuts. ‘Canada Post is obliged under their own policy to consult meaningfully about changes in postal service, and that has not yet happened in London.’

                  The ‘survey’ Canada Post circulated in November was so biased that most recipients did not even bother responding. ‘A response rate of just 16% suggests that about five out of six addresses surveyed did not find the choices meaningful,’ continues Heap.  ‘Our campaign volunteers have been knocking on doors for weeks and getting a much more significant response rate, so we know that the choice Londoners really want is to keep their door to door delivery.’ This basic choice was not even an option in the Canada Post pseudo-survey.

                  The motion also calls for cuts in door-to-door service to stop while the City holds a public participation consultation. ‘This is a great start but the City needs to go much further now, ’ comments Wendy Goldsmith, also of Londoners for Door to Door. ‘Residents want a meaningful say in issues like universal accessibility of mail service, safety of the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as the downloading of costs to the municipal budget. The City should also reveal all of the proposed new mailbox sites.’

                  Hamilton’s city council has called for a halt to introducing new ‘super’ mailboxes while they study the costs of approvals, estimated at over $500 per box. Medicine Hat came up with a similar figure for approvals, yet Canada Post is offering London a nominal $50 per approval. Brampton found that newly imposed ‘super’ mailboxes generate litter that costs tens of thousands of dollars to clean up – costs that Canada Post refuses to pay. Sarnia negotiated a contract with Canada Post protecting the city from litter and upkeep costs as well as being sued for injuries when residents slip and fall at ‘super’ mailboxes. All of these are issues that London has yet to take into consideration. Other factors include the impact of ‘super’ mailboxes on heritage neighborhoods, reductions in property tax revenues due to lower home values where door-to-door delivery is lost, and higher policing costs due to increased in mail theft

                  ‘This issue is too important to decided behind closed doors in private consultation only with Canada Post, ’ concludes Goldsmith. ‘That might’ve worked under the former City council, but now more and more Londoners are demanding a meaningful say in changes that effect our communities. This new Council needs to stop and listen to our voices.’

For questions or further comment, please contact Wendy Goldsmith (519 281 3978) or David Heap (519 859 3579) of Londoners for Door to Door.


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