Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Montreal calls for moratorium on Canada Post's community mailboxes

Published on: February 26, 2015
Last Updated: February 26, 2015 8:06 PM EST
A community mailbox on 36th Avenue in Lachine, Montreal, Saturday, August 23, 2014.

A community mailbox on 36th Avenue in Lachine, Montreal, Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Phil Carpenter / Montreal Gazette

The city of Montreal will be joining a legal challenge in Federal Court against Canada Post’s plan to phase out door-to-door mail delivery before 2019, said Mayor Denis Coderre.

Coderre said he will also be tabling a resolution to the agglomeration council of Montreal demanding that the federal government establish a moratorium on community mailboxes in Montreal.
The legal challenge — launched back in November by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and a number of other groups — hopes to see Canada Post’s plan be declared a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The mayor made the announcement Thursday along with Sud-Ouest borough mayor Benoit Dorais, Westmount Mayor Peter Trent, and Union des municipalités du Québec president Suzanne Roy, among others.
“We want to send a clear message to the federal government and to Canada Post that home mail delivery is an essential service for our citizens,” he said.
Coderre called Canada Post’s approach unilateral, disgusting, cheap and grotesque.
“Rather than conducting consultations, Canada Post is going from one borough to another, or from one city to another, in its effort to divide and conquer,” he said, alluding to community mailboxes already being installed in Kirkland, Lachine, Pierrefonds and Île-Bizard. “And they’re doing so with a total lack of transparency, complete lack of public consultations, and sheer disrespect for citizens and their needs.”
The mayor pushed for a response from federal party leaders on whether or not a moratorium will be established.
“I want to know what all of the party leaders in Ottawa think of the word moratorium,” he said. “Not the word pause, not ‘we’ll think about it.’ I want to hear if they are in favour or not of a moratorium.”
Dorais, who’s chairing a consultation committee on the matter, said that it would take 50,000 community mailboxes in 15,000 different locations to serve the 700,000 houses of the Montreal agglomeration.
“That represents around 25 kilometres of community mailboxes put side by side,” he said. “That seems worrisome, and impossible that it wouldn’t have an impact on the public.”
Trent added that he thinks it’s clear Canada Post has not figured out how the plan would actually work in Montreal or Westmount.
“They’ve adopted a very interesting strategy of starting with the outskirts, beyond the suburbs, to slowly eat their way toward the centre of the island of Montreal,” he said.
“Why? Because they can’t tell us how they’re going to do it.”

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