Headlines

Hamilton will appeal Canada Post super mailbox court decision

The city of Hamilton will appeal this month's court decision that ruled in favour of Canada Post regarding where to put super mailboxes.

Hamilton will spend an estimated $75,000 to appeal the decision

The city of Hamilton is appealing a ruling that says it can't dictate where Canada Post puts community mailboxes. (CBC)

The city of Hamilton will appeal this month's court decision that ruled in favour of Canada Post regarding where to put super mailboxes.

Hamilton will spend an estimated $75,000 to appeal a decision from Justice Alan Whitten, who struck down a bylaw that attempted to regulate where Canada Post put new community mailboxes.

Canada Post has installed about 3,000 super mailboxes on the Mountain as part of its plan to phase out urban door-to-door mail delivery across the country. Earlier this year, the city passed an amended bylaw saying the corporation had to consult with the city on where it put the mailboxes, as well as pay a fee of $200 per mailbox.

Canada Post argued that its federal mandate to deliver the mail trumps municipal law. Whitten agreed. The bylaw is "inapplicable and inoperative," Whitten wrote, and an effort by the city to "thwart" an unpopular move by Canada Post to end door-to-door delivery.

The city maintains otherwise. The bylaw, said Coun. Terry Whitehead of Ward 8, is about the city having control over its own road allowances.

"The fundamental question is – who should have the final say about where things are installed on municipal property?" Whitehead wrote in an opinion piece on Wednesday. "In regards to safety, who do you trust to look out for the best interests of our residents? Canada Post or the city?"

The decision to appeal wasn't unanimous. Mayor Fred Eisenberger was among those who voted against the 9-4 decision at the general issues committee on Wednesday.

Eisenberger said he doesn't think it's a good use of $75,000, and he doesn't think the city will win.

"I just don't see the value of continuing this legal fight at this point," he said.

In the first legal round, the city used internal lawyers. Peter Griffin will represent the city in the appeal process. The city will ask for support from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and other interested municipalities.

For its part, Canada Post had little to say on Wednesday.

"We continue to complete the installation process based on the feedback we've received from homeowners," said spokesperson Jon Hamilton. "Mail and parcels will be delivered to the new boxes starting July 20."


Who voted to appeal

Aidan Johnson (Ward 1), Jason Farr (2), Matthew Green (3), Tom Jackson (6), Scott Duvall (7), Terry Whitehead (8), Doug Conley (9), Maria Pearson (10), Arlene VanderBeek (13)

Who voted against the appeal

Mayor Fred Eisenberger, Chad Collins (5), Lloyd Ferguson (12), Judi Partridge (15)

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now