Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Community Responds with Art Against Mailboxes as Canada Post Ignores City Council

July 29, 2015.

Community Responds with Art Against Mailboxes as Canada Post Ignores City Council
Garden installations ‘All that has value’ by internationally renowned artist Ron Benner

London City Council has taken a position against the implementation of so-called Community Mail Boxes in our community.  Passed 13-0 by Council Tuesday evening, the resolution calls on Canada Post " to delay further implementation of Community Mailboxes in the City of London" until requests for information regarding public consultation have been met, as well as other conditions.

From one of Ron Benner's art garden installations (Halifax, 2013)
Despite this request from our city government, Canada Post continues to install concrete pads in neighbourhoods in London in preparation for the installation of Self Serve Mail Boxes (SSMBs).  Londoners are naturally resisting these unwanted incursions into our communities.  Neighbourhood actions are springing up around the city. From block parties (like the one on Talavera Crescent that began on Tuesday and continues today) to community gardens and boulevard beautification projects, Londoners are protecting community spaces from this steam-rollering Crown Corporation and its cuts to vital services.

Londoner  Ron Benner, an internationally renowned visual artist and activist is participating in this community initiative by creating garden-art installations at various sites around London.  The title of his work ‘All that has value’ recalls a Mexican artist who stated : "All that has value was then counted as nothing” after the conquest of Mexico City in 1519.

The artists’ gardens (4x6 feet and 4x8 feet) include plants native to the Americas which is part of his continuing research and work into First Nations’ farming practices and plants that are significant to today’s economy and food culture around the world. Benner sees this intervention of the garden onto the site of the concrete pads intended for the postal boxes as part of our community’s “Save door-to door” ( campaign to maintain mail delivery. ‘These gardens are in solidarity with Canadian postal workers as well as our community’s concerns for safe, secure mail delivery service in our neighbourhoods,’ comments Benner.

The first art garden installation will occur Wednesday July 29 starting at 7 :30 pm, and the second on early Thursday morning, July 30.  Ronner Benner will be on hand for comment at both locations.

For locations and other details contact:
Wendy Goldsmith                                    519 281 3978
David Heap                                                               519 859 3579

More info at:

Ron Benner is a visual artist and activist based in London, Ontario. His photographic/garden Installations As the Crow Flies can be viewed at Museum London overlooking the Thames River (2005-on-going) and Cuitlacoche (2012- on-going) at Hart House, University of Toronto. His works are in numerous public collections. He has exhibited across Canada, and internationally, most recently in China, 2014.
Londoners for Door to Door Twitter: @PPL4Door2Door

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

London City Council calls on Canada Post to halt mailbox installation

From the Report from the Strategic Priorities and Policy, on the agenda for the July 28 City Council meeting:

5. Proposed Implementation of Community Mailboxes by Canada Post
That the following actions be taken with respect to the Canada Post Community Mail Box Program:
a) Canada Post BE REQUESTED to delay further implementation of Community Mailboxes in the City of London until such time as a satisfactory response to the matters referenced in b), c) and d), below, has been received by the Municipal Council:
b) as Canada Post has not had an opportunity to report back to the Municipal Council with respect to the public consultation process undertaken prior to the installation of the community mail boxes being commenced and the need to provide a mechanism for members of the public to express safety concerns with respect to the installation, the Civic Administration BE REQUESTED to advise the Ward Councillors of any safety and operational concerns raised with respect to the proposed location of a community mail box resulting from the submission of an application for a Permit for Approved Works (PAWS); it being noted that Ward Councillors will advise the Civic Administration of any concerns that have come to their attention from members of the public with respect to the location of a community mail box;
c) the Civic Administration BE REQUESTED to make the list of locations submitted through the Permit for Approved Works process available to the public, subject to meeting the requirements of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;
d) the Civic Administration BE REQUESTED to report back with respect to an Agreement with Canada Post to formalize responsibilities as follows:
 installation of the new Community Mailboxes to be done entirely at Canada Post’s expense;
 Canada Post to be fully responsible for maintenance including snow-clearing and graffiti-removal. Litter pick up would not be provided by Canada Post, however actions would be undertaken such as the distribution of “good-customer” letters encouraging good behaviours where concerns arise;
 Canada Post would not require the City of London to provide lighting nor would the City of London be installing lighting;
 sidewalk locations would be preferred but it is anticipated that this will not be possible within many existing neighbourhoods. Where street-facing Community Mailboxes are necessary, accessible curb cuts would be constructed at the cost of Canada Post;
e) the communication dated June 16, 2015 from Karen D., expressing concern with the Community Mailbox Program, BE RECEIVED.
Motion Passed

YEAS: M. Brown, M. van Holst, B. Armstrong, M. Salih, M. Cassidy, P. Squire, J. Morgan, P. Hubert, A. Hopkins, V. Ridley, H.L. Usher, T. Park, J. Zaifman (13)

Passed unanimously, 13-0. 

Stop SSMB Street Party on Talavera Crescent, as City Hall asks Canada Post to stop mailbox installation

Londoners4door2door Turns Up the Heat on Canada Post with a "Stop Self-Serve Mailbox" Party on Talavera Crescent -- City Council calls for a Halt to SSMBs.

Londoners4door2door is having an impromptu party on a site on Talavera Crescent in east London that Canada Post has targeted for a SSMB (Self-Serve Mailbox) site and the home-owners are furious about it. Several neighbours have dropped by the site to express their support for keeping the CMB site off the street. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

your support for Door to Door mail is needed NOW !

Dear Door to Door supporter,
Our City Council will be considering the whole Canada Post issue on Monday July 27 (in Committee, starting 4 pm) and Tuesday July 28 (full Council, starting 4 pm). This is your chance to help by calling / e-mailing Councillors and the Mayor asking them to support:
  •   a moratorium (halt) to all installation of new mailbox in London, until at least after the upcoming federal election in October, and
  • a full release of all information from City staff about changes made to proposed locations for mailbox installation. 
You can find contact information for the Mayor and all the councillors here: *

Please e-mail and/or call as soon as you can, on Monday if possible, and keep calling and e-mailing through Tuesday July 28 as well. 

In the last few days our campaign has drawn attention to Canada Post's dishonesty. Despite their agreement in March to report back to our City Council prior to the installation of Self Serve Mail Boxes, Canada Post has instructed contractors to begin installing concrete pads for new SSMBs.
By simply stopping one pad from being installed for a couple of days, we helped focus attention on this issue. Some City Councillors are saying that Canada Post misled Londoners
With your help, we can do more in the coming days and weeks. If you can give a few hours of your time, please contact us at 

Together we can help save Door to Door mail delivery!

Londoners for Door to Door


Mayor Matt Brown


Ward 1 Michael van Holst 314

Ward 2 Bill Armstrong  

Ward 3 Mo Mohamed Salih

Ward 4 Jesse Helmer
 519 661-2500 Ext. 4004 (City Hall)

Ward 5 Maureen Cassidy  

Ward 6 Phil Squire

Ward 7 Josh Morgan

Ward 8 Paul Hubert
 519 661-2500 Ext. 4008 (City Hall)

Ward 9 Anna Hopkins

Ward 10 Virginia Ridley

Ward 11 Stephen Turner
519 661-2500 Ext. 4011 (City Hall)

Ward 12 Harold L. Usher
519 661-2500 Ext. 4012 (City Hall)

Ward 13 Tanya Park 314
 519 661-2500 Ext. 4013 (City Hall)

Ward 14 Jared Zaifman

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Who is installing super mailbox pads in London? Please help us watch for them!

Installation of preformed concrete pads for self-serve mailboxes (SSMBs aka super mailboxes) has begun in London, despite Canada Post's well-publicized promise to report back to City Council before any cement went in the ground. Londoners4Door2Door continues to protest these ugly invasions of our neighbourhoods, while Canada Post keeps getting bad press for their bad faith, including on London's CTV, since lots of us (including City Councillors Tanya Park and Virginia Ridley) remember their "commitment" to the march 23 Council meeting (also captured on video)

But who is doing the installation work? We have learned that there are at least four different sub-contractors (way to go Canada Post!) involved in these installations in London, and some of the crews have a quota (for example, five pads to be installed per day). In the Kensington area, we learned about two of them:

At the Cavendish Crescent site we saw a truck and equipment from Stone in Style (interlocking stone hardscaping):

while around the corner on Forward Ave. we saw a digger from Hav-All, and a truck from Flandscape :

What other companies are involved in these installations? How many crews are out there, in which neighbourhoods? Your ears and eyes (and cameras!) can help us find out. If you spot any of the above, or other companies's  trucks or equipment, please let us know (day, time & location) as soon as possible. If you can send us a picture of the trucks & equipment, so much the better. 

Remember: you have a right to photograph trucks & equipment working in public areas. And since this work is proceeding before the City receives any Canada Post report, you are doing our community a favour and helping to protect our neighbourhoods by documenting these installations.

Thanks! Londoners for Door to Door <>

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Occupation of Canada Post proposed mailbox sites in London begins

For Immediate Release Canada Post reneges on Commitment to City Council and Londoners by greenlighting the installation of SSMBs (Self-Serve Mailboxes) -- members of the grassroots organisation Londoners4door2door are Occupying an SSMB site at Cavendish near Wharncliffe.
Despite a public promise by manager Andrew Paterson not to install SSMBs until there is a report back to City Council, Canada Post has given the go-ahead to sub-contractors installing SSMBs in the Kensington neighbourhood of London (including Cavendish, Wyatt, Walnut and Forward ave.). This in spite of widespread concern from thousands of London citizens, who unable to get help from Conservative MPs Susan Truppe and Ed Holder, have petitioned the city of London to make their concerns heard.
There have been serious issues with SSMBs across Canada and the sites in London show evidence of the same hurried implementation without regard for citizens concerns about safety, resulting in the installation of SSMBs in unsafe locations -- such as directly across from driveways and in no parking zones. "Just yesterday we spoke with a man whose mother is a senior and she is very anxious about having to go to collect her mail. We spoke with other Londoners who are very unhappy with Canada Post and want to retain door to door mail delivery," states Wendy Goldsmith with Londoners4door2door. "One of the new sites in Whitehills is located on a bus route, which adds to the traffic hazards." "Cavendish and the Forward Ave. area has been canvassed by Londoners4door2door since January of this year and residents are very supportive of keeping their door to door mail delivery," says David Heap. "Canada Post has failed to show due diligence regarding the locations of the sites. We are committed to defending our community spaces against this corporate steamroller." Municpal ratepayers are also concerned that that Canada Post does not pay for the massive cost downloads resulting from SSMBs such as litter and snow removal, and does not provide sound accommodations for seniors and others with mobility issues. Londoners4door2door, currently occupying a site at Cavendish near Wharncliffe, is demanding due process from MPs and Canada Post. We expect to be protecting more community spaces starting tomorrow (Friday) morning, if you can help please contact us ASAP: Wendy Goldsmith 519-281-3978 David Heap 519-859-3579

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Protesters halt Hamilton Mountain super mailbox (The Spectator, July 20, 2015)

Hamilton Spectator
Two Mountain men have succeeded in preventing Canada Post from installing a controversial community mailbox at East 34th Street and Brucedale Avenue.
Ken Stone and Henry Evans-Tenbrinke camped out on the weekend on lawn chairs in front of three cement pedestals as part of a protest that began three weeks ago.
Their protest came in the wake of Hamilton police arresting another Mountain resident for a similar action and charging him with mischief.
Canada Post is replacing door-to-door delivery for 36,000 residents on the Mountain and in part of Stoney Creek with community mailboxes. The boxes were all expected to be ready Monday. A Canada Post spokesperson said last week that contractors would work through the weekend if necessary.
Stone, a well-known activist, said Sunday night that police came by on Saturday, about 75 minutes after the contractor had arrived and left.
"It looked pretty scary. I thought we were going to get arrested … It looked like they were trying to rendezvous with the contractor to put in the boxes, but that didn't happen."
Stone said police did not show up Sunday. He believes Canada Post will have to meet with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to discuss the situation because it did not meet the July 20 service conversion deadline.

Monday, July 20, 2015

yes YOU can help with MailBox Watch!

Dear Londoners:
You have probably seen the recent news stories suggesting that self-serve mailbox installations are to begin soon.

Our current information is that Canada Post's Andy Paterson has still not reported back to City Council about community consultations, as he committed to do in an earlier Council meeting. 

While we are watching the political scene closely, we could use your help in watching targeted neighbourhoods.

Please let us know ASAP at <> if you observe any of the following signs that mailbox installation may be starting in your area: 

Signs to watch for :

1.       Orange or yellow paint, marking the area on the ground.
2.       Piling up of cement pads.
3.       A tractor or other earth-moving equipment for digging holes.

 Thank you for helping us save door to door mail delivery in our communities.

If you are wondering what locations are targeted for installation of mailboxes, you can have a look at the proposed sites here or access the lists of proposed locations by postal codes or by lists of addresses. Some of these sites may have changed since we obtained this information: please ask your City Councillor and the Mayor's office to release updated information.