British Columbia

Canada Post halts community mailbox plan angering mayor of Belcarra, B.C.

The Mayor of Belcarra, B.C. — population 644 — was once a critic of community mailboxes, but now he is criticizing Canada Post for its decision to put a halt to their installation across the country.

Mayor Ralph Drew was once a vocal critic of community mailboxes, but now he supports them

The new 'super boxes' installed in Belcarra, B.C. more than a year ago. After years of theft, the mayor of the village says new superboxes have proven theft-proof, and should be installed across the country. (Ralph Drew)

The Mayor of Belcarra, B.C. — population 644 — was once a vocal critic of community mailboxes, but now he is criticizing Canada Post for its decision to put a halt to their installation across the country.

Ralph Drew estimates community mailboxes in his village were broken into every few months, with dozens of people losing their mail to theft each time, before new superboxes were installed by Canada Post more than a year ago, fixing the problem.

"We had one attempted break-in and quite frankly it appears the person gave up in frustration because it was just too much work to break into them," Drew said.

Only about a third of Canadians receive their mail door-to-door, and Drew said it's time for Canada Post to eliminate the practice altogether, as it's "exceedingly unfair," for communities such as Belcarra to subsidize home delivery elsewhere.

"They need to get on with making themselves more efficient and financially viable.

"For the federal government to, at this point, try and put the brakes on that in my opinion is just a waste of time and postpones the inevitable," Drew said.

Trudeau influence

Justin Trudeau promised to save home mail delivery during the election campaign, but it's unlikely Canada Post's decision came on the order of the incoming prime minister, said David Zussman, senior fellow at the graduate school of public and international affairs at the University of Ottawa. Rather, Canada Post executives are "anticipating" Trudeau's plan for the corporation.

"This I see as a move by Canada Post as opposed to a decision by the government, because clearly the Trudeau government has not been sworn in," Zussman said.

Zussman led the Liberals transition team in 1993, and has authored a book on government transitions in Canada. He said although Canada Post's announcement came quickly, it doesn't come as a surprise.

"Crown corporations are wholly owned organizations of the government of Canada, and therefore they really work for the shareholder, the people of Canada, and so I suspect we are going to be seeing quite a few changes made by various Crown corporations in response to the new government," he said.


 

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