With some Winnipeg residents starting their first winter without door-to-door mail delivery, there are concerns about who should be clearing the snow around new community mailboxes.
The City of Winnipeg says Canada Post is responsible for providing access from the street or sidewalk to community mailboxes, while the city is responsible for clearing the sidewalks only.
The city says when it comes to snow clearing, it will not change the priority of a street because of a community mailbox.
"This is a long standing practice with all community mailboxes," a city spokesperson said in an email to CBC News Monday.
Meanwhile, one city councillor says Canada Post is not doing enough to make its new community mailboxes more accessible.
Mynarski Coun. Ross Eadie said he's been getting many calls from people complaining they can't get to their community mailboxes because of snow-covered streets and sidewalks.
'Everybody knows we're about $12 million over budget on snow clearing. If we're gonna have to start clearing snow for Canada Post, you know, you can tell what kind of big problems we're having.' - Coun. Ross Eadie
"So they called Canada Post to see if they could have the snow removed and Canada Post refers them to the city — that it's somehow our responsibility," he said.
"That's not true, it's Canada Post's responsibility. Canada Post put in these community mailboxes, we're not changing our snow policy; we have priorities.
"Everybody knows we're about $12 million over budget on snow clearing. If we're gonna have to start clearing snow for Canada Post, you know, you can tell what kind of big problems we're having.”
The mailboxes on Aikins Street are of particular concern, he said, adding there's no sidewalks and too much snow on the road.
One resident on that street, Kevin Leochko, said the problem is compounded for anyone using a wheelchair.
"You may get through if you're able-bodied," said Leochko. "But nobody on a wheelchair would be able to get through it all."
Leochko said there are always cars parked in front of the mailboxes because of the high number of businesses in the area, and the vehicles block the wheelchair ramp.
“As the snow gets higher and higher, we're gonna have to go over, climb over a snow bank,” Leochko said.
He called Canada Post to complain and was told there's nothing it can do. He said he was also told to get his mail in the evening when there are fewer cars parked on the street.
Eadie plans to introduce a motion at city hall to force the Crown corporation to be held accountable for improving access to the mailboxes.