Winnipeg city councillors have voted in favour of urging Canada Post to suspend the switch from door-to-door mail delivery to community mailboxes in older neighbourhoods.
Councillors Ross Eadie (Mynarski) and Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) tabled a motion on Wednesday calling on the city to ask Canada Post to delay the transition in parts of the city with postal codes starting with R2P and R2V.
The two areas, both in northwest Winnipeg, are among 11 areas across the country that will be the first to have door-to-door service replaced by community mailboxes this fall.
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Eadie and Havixbeck want the changes to be suspended "until a sustained, substantive consultation process with local governments and the public is completed and identified issues are addressed," their motion states.
The councillors say they also want Canada Post to work out the details regarding the installation of community mailboxes "in older neighbourhoods never considered for community mail boxes."
"Canada Post hasn't the foggiest idea how they're going to deal with mature neighbourhoods and also deal with seniors who are to the point where they really can't get out themselves, especially in winter," Eadie told councillors.
The motion passed 13-2, with councillors Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands) and Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) voting against it.
Browaty and Fielding both said they like the community mailboxes in their wards, with Browaty saying residents can socialize when they get their mail.
But Eadie said snow clearing in established neighbourhoods already causes problems for pedestrians.
He added that the city uses boulevards to store snow in the winter, leaving no place for community mailboxes.
"Canada Post's perspective on this is, 'Oh, this is a great time to socialize at community mailboxes and greet your neighbours and so on.' But you can't get there in the winter," he said.
Havixbeck told councillors she's been hearing from residents concerned about problems with an existing community mailbox on McCreary Road.
There have been long lineups of cars and lots of litter around the mailboxes, Havixbeck said, adding that complaints have been going back and forth between the city's 311 service and Canada Post.
St. Vital Coun. Brian Mayes, whose ward has a number of community mailboxes, noted a similar disagreement between the city and Canada Post over snow clearing.
Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry Coun. Jenny Gerbasi said as a representative with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, she knows other cities are concerned about Canada Post's plan.
Gerbasi said city councils in Toronto and Vancouver have already voted to ask Canada Post to delay the changes.