Canada Post community mailboxes not welcome, Montreal officials say

A committee convened by the City of Montreal says Canada Post failed to properly study the problems ending home delivery would cause residents.

Committee set up by City of Montreal says Canada Post failed to consult residents before ending home delivery

A committee of Montreal municipal officials has drafted a report recommending the city refuse Canada Post's attempts to cancel urban home delivery. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

A committee convened by the city to study issues surrounding the quality of life of Montrealers will table recommendations on Monday urging the city to say no to Canada Post's community mailboxes.

The committee — la Commission sur le développement social et la diversité montréalaise — is composed of city and borough mayors and councillors from different pockets of Montreal.

The motion being tabled criticizes Canada Post for lacking transparency and pushing through its plan to replace home-delivery service without properly consulting municipalities and their residents.

"The lack of transparency, the lack of public consultation and quite frankly, just the arrogance in moving forward with something when they clearly know that [there are] problems," committee member and Verdun city councillor Sterling Downey says.

Downey says the superboxes would be bad news for Montrealers, particularly those with any kind of mobility issue.

That's why, he says, the recommendations being made by the committee include getting the city to file a motion for intervention at the Federal Court so that it can keep tabs on a challenge launched by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, along with groups representing seniors and the disabled.

The committee's other recommendations include:

  • Having The City of Montreal and the greater region surrounding it do everything possible to prevent Canada Post from putting community mailboxes on its territory.
  • Refusing Canada Post's five-point action plan in the name of Montreal residents and imploring the Crown corporation to maintain urban home delivery.
  • Asking Canada Post to perform a study on the economic consequences of the direct and indirect job losses the end of home delivery would have.

If Canada Post's community mailboxes plan were to go ahead in Montreal, the committee said it would need to install 15,000 superboxes to properly serve the population — or about 25 kilometres of boxes placed end-to-end.

Downey says he knows many of his fellow city administrators are on the same page as him in opposing Canada Post's plan, and that he expects the motion to be adopted shortly after being tabled on Monday

CBC Daybreak spoke to Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre about Canada Post's plan on his one-year anniversary as mayor.

"I’m really mad. I have a committee on that with Benoit Dorais, the mayor of Southwest and the mayor of Montreal-East who’s there. I’m totally on the side of [Westmount mayor] Peter Trent," Coderre said in October.

"It’s a disgrace. It’s a total disgrace. And the Union of Quebec Municipalities, we are speaking as one voice. We are working together and trying to find a way. And there’s an election next year, right?"


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