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"Super mailboxes" stir outrage among suburban Canadians

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In Markham, Ont., the mailman is going the way of the milkman and the ice man. No longer will residents get letters delivered to their doors: instead, they retrieve their bills from shared neighbourhood hubs dubbed "super mailboxes." It's Canada Post's new way to distribute mail in suburban centres across the country in 1988. But as CBC reporter Steve Paikin discovers, many Canadians hate the boxes and are campaigning to have their mail delivered at home again.


• Super mailboxes became a campaign issue in the 1988 federal election. Liberal leader John Turner and NDP leader Ed Broadbent both pledged to bring back door-to-door delivery, and Broadbent charged the Progressive Conservatives with turning some Canadians into second-class citizens.

• In 1989 a government committee recommended eliminating super mailboxes to bring back door-to-door delivery, but Canada Post rejected the idea. 

• Citing cost pressures, Canada Post announced its plan to phase out door-to-door delivery in urban centres in December 2013. Residents would instead begin using communal super mailboxes similar to those found in suburban neighbourhoods.
Medium: Television
Broadcast Date: April 24, 1988
Program: The National
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Steve Paikin
Guests: Ann Derrett, Paul Connelly
Duration: 2:24

Last updated: October 28, 2014

Page consulted on October 28, 2014

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