Canada Post's plans to phase out home delivery across the country will hurt older residents the worst, advocates say.
The Crown corporation sparked a furor Wednesday with its announcement that it cannot afford to continue door-to-door delivery in urban areas, and is pushing through other measures that include cutting as many as 8,000 jobs and hiking the cost of a single stamp to a dollar.
The Canadian Association of Retired Persons said the loss of door-to-door deliver for many elderly people will be devastating.
In a statement, the group said Canada Post's statement offers nothing for older Canadians except "an extra set of keys for a caregiver or family member to retrieve their mail or lowered boxes so that people in wheelchairs can access them."
Derek Ford, who lives in Grand Falls-Windsor, said the end of home delivery will have a significant ripple effect for seniors, especially if they have mobility issues or have trouble walking in winter.
"It's often hard enough and expensive enough for them to get out and about, and to add extra stops on their trips, and to make services harder for them to access is only going to make a bad situation worse," Ford told CBC News.
Mike McDonald, president of the St. John's branch of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said employees were kept completely in the dark before Canada Post's announcement. He said the national union had been meeting with the corporation recently, but no mention was made that large cuts were imminent.
"I'm at a loss today because I know that there are, I know there's a lot of money being wasted at Canada Post with the way the executives run the place," McDonald said.
Door-to-door service will be phased out over the next five years.