Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has taken a jackhammer to the concrete slab foundation of a community mailbox in l'Anse-à-l'Orme nature park.
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The mayor was protesting what he says is a lack of consultation with the city as Canada Post moves from door-to-door service to community mailboxes.
Throughout the day, Coderre had expressed his disappointment with the Crown corporation via a news conference, angry tweets, and finally, destroying the concrete slab itself.
"It's a matter of fact that they're doing what they want, and then they try and piss in your ears and say, 'Oh don't worry, we are wishing to collaborate,' but at the end of the day, baloney, it's not working," he said.
Earlier in the day, Coderre said it was "totally disgraceful" that the Crown corporation moved to erect community boxes in Parc l'Anse-à-l'Orme without any authorization from the municipality.
Flanked by Westmount Mayor Peter Trent, Southwest borough Mayor Benoit Dorais, Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension Mayor Anie Samson and Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Jim Beis, Coderre condemned Canada Post for what he called a total absence of consultation.
He said Canada Post's brazen community-mailbox placements go against Montreal urban planning procedures, and he'll have none of it.
"I think it's wrong the way they're acting," Coderre said. "They said they were consulting. Hello? Anybody home? They're doing what they want, savagely, and they're arrogant."
After he took a jackhammer to the slab of concrete, he announced he'd be sending the cost of the damage to Canada Post.
Je serai au parc de l'anse-à-l'Orme pour régler un problème d'aménagement urbain à 16h30 cet après-midi....— @DenisCoderre
Coderre tweeted Canada Post's response to him, accompanied by the hashtag #pathetic: The corporation said it was continuing to work with municipalities in order to find the best and safest locations for community mailboxes, and that it looks forward to his suggestions for box locations.
Boxes called a public nuisance
Dorais, the Southwest borough mayor, said existing community mailboxes on his territory have already presented a number of problems, among them vandalism, theft and messiness. He said a set of boxes in particular were left in a sorry state for a year before media reports prompted Canada Post to clean up.
Beis of Pierrefonds-Roxboro said box security was a major factor, with reports of some people's mail and parcels being stolen.
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Trent, the Westmount mayor, said he believes Canada Post is installing its new mailboxes on the outskirts of the Island first so it can gradually work its way into the core of the city, where there is more opposition to the end of door-to-door mail delivery.
"What I find most offensive about this whole business of Canada Post doing what it wants is that what we hear from the party in power is that it's a Crown corporation, there's nothing we can do," Trent said.
"Well it's time to lift the corporate veil and say, 'No, Canada Post is owned by us, the citizens, and the government represents us. And if we as citizens decide it's time to call a moratorium on this misguided policy, then Canada Post should listen.'"
The mayors are taking their fight against Canada Post to court, and have also asked to be part of a class-action suit against the Crown corporation as well.