Ottawa’s mayor said he has many concerns about the unanswered questions that come with Canada Post’s proposed move to urban community mailboxes.


Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson is the latest municipal politician to raise questions about Canada Post's community mailbox plan.

A day after hundreds of protesters called for a different approach to fixing Canada Post’s finances, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said he wants to know more about how this change will happen over the coming years.

"Where are these super mailboxes going to go, are they going to go on the front of someone's lawn? Who's paying for the cleanup and garbage around them? Are they going to be paying the city a fee?" Watson said Monday.

"Anytime I go out… I have people coming up to me quite concerned about this."

Watson said he wants to get this issue on the agenda for an upcoming meeting of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, which could come at the end of February.

City councils in Vancouver, Victoria and Medicine Hat, Alta., have also asked for more information on the proposed mailbox changes.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has also spoken out against those plans.

Boxes may go inside businesses

Canada Post spokesperson Jon Hamilton wouldn’t directly answer Watson’s questions and said nothing is set in stone, including the plan to phase out Canada’s five million remaining home mailboxes.

Jon Hamilton Canada Post

Jon Hamilton, a spokesperson for Canada Post, says community mailboxes could be set up in 24-hour businesses. (CBC)

“I'm not about to talk about hypothetical situations that we are going to encounter three, four years down the road,” he said.

“There is a process we are going to follow to work with municipalities and find solutions."

Hamilton said some community mailboxes could be set up in businesses that are open 24 hours instead of on the street.

In December, Canada Post said they plan to start changing over the approximately one-third of Canadians who still have a home mailbox at the end of this year.

It’s part of a strategy to reduce annual losses that could reach a billion dollars in 2020. The federal government said mail volume dropped 25 per cent from 2008 to 2013 and could drop another 25 per cent by next decade.

Canada Post would eliminate 6,000 to 8,000 jobs, but said they’ll come from a pool of 15,000 employees expected to retire or leave the company in the next few years.

The price of a stamp would also rise to 85 cents if bought in bulk, compared to the current price of 63 cents.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said Sunday they’ll continue fighting these proposed changes until the next federal election in 2015.