NDP MPs hold 'Save Canada Post' town hall in Vancouver

A banner hung at a community town hall in East Vancouver this weekend says "Save Canada Post." Two B.C. MPs hosted the event to hear their constituents' concerns over the planned phasing-out of home mail delivery within the next five years.

Canada Post says it will replace home delivery with community mailboxes over the next five years

Around 100 people came out at public town hall meeting, organized by two local MPs and held at the Trout Lake Community Centre. Many voiced their opposition to Canada Post's planned imposition of community mailboxes. 2:17

Two B.C. MPs will be taking the message to Ottawa this week that their constituents feel home mail delivery is a vital service, and that they are frustrated with planned changes to Canada Post.

The postal service says it is tackling a projected $1B dollar deficit, and will be installing new community mailboxes to replace home delivery over the next five years in a bid to cut costs.

On Saturday, NDPMPs Libby Davies and Don Davies hosted a town hall meeting in East Vancouver for people to share their concerns with the plan.

Daisy Phillips, one of around 100 local residents who attended, said she was worried new community mailboxes will be too difficult for her to access.

"I have a heart condition and everything, and pacemaker, I can't be travelling all over. I have a hard enough time already getting around."

Others at the forum said Canada Post should innovate and find ways to grow its business instead of cutting back on services. 

Canada Post is phasing out door-to-door delivery of regular mail to urban residents and increasing the cost of stamps in a major move to try to reduce significant, regular losses. The Crown corporation announced its plans in a news release on Dec. 11, saying urban home delivery will be phased out over the next five years. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

MP for Vancouver Kingsway Don Davies said an overwhelming majority of residents he encountered feel the same — and have questions about accessibility in addition to concerns over mailbox break-ins.

"I would say 90 per cent of the people I hear from are extremely concerned about ending of this service from a number of perspectives," Davies said.

Vancouver City Coun. GeoffMeggs said municipal governments like his are also concerned about finding sidewalk and parking space to accommodate super-boxes in urban areas.

"We started from the urban planning standpoint and asked ourselves how neighbourhoods that were built when when home delivery was taken for granted would somehow be retrofitted for huge community mailboxes where parking is already an issue, [and] where traffic would be generated," he said.

With files from the CBC's Bal Brach


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