Nfld. & Labrador

Location of new super mailbox a safety worry for legally blind resident

A community mailbox planned in Mount Pearl is in a location inaccessible for a legally blind resident, who says he won't be able to get his own mail.

Blind man says he won't be able to access his new mailbox safely

7 years ago
Duration 1:55
Philip Strong is legally blind and says he won't be able to access his new super mailbox safely

A man in Mount Pearl says he isn't going to be able to collect his mail if Canada Post moves ahead with plans for community mailboxes in his neighbourhood.

Philip Strong is legally blind and said the community mailbox in his area won't be located on a sidewalk.

Strong said he relies on his guide dog Wonka to help him get around, but the dog won't be able to help him when it comes to getting mail if the current plans move ahead.

"It's located on the side of the road that has no sidewalk," he said.

"I'm not going to be able to go to the mailbox at this point because it's inaccessible. It's not safe for me to get to at this point."
Philip Strong says even with the aid of his guide dog Wonka he won't be able to safely access the new community mailbox near his Mount Pearl home. (CBC)

According to Strong, there are other options in the area Canada Post could have looked at — including a grassy spot next to a sidewalk and trailway.

"There are plenty of opportunities to have it on the side of the road that does have a sidewalk," he said.

Meanwhile, NDP MP for St. John's South-Mount Pearl Ryan Cleary has complained to Canada Post on Strong's behalf.

Cleary said this situation showcases a lack of communication from Canada Post with residents when it comes to community mailboxes.
NDP MP Ryan Cleary says there's been a lack of communication from Canada Post when it comes to establishing community mailboxes. (CBC)

"Canada Post right from the start, even with the elimination of home mail delivery, there was no consultation. Nobody was asked, 'How do you feel about losing home mail delivery?' and now nobody is being asked, 'Well how do you feel about putting the super mailbox here?'" said Cleary.

"The people know best, the people know their neighbourhoods, they know the traffic and any safety concerns."

Strong said Canada Post did talk with him about providing a corner slot in the community mailbox so he can find his mail more easily.

However, Strong said that won't be enough to make it safe for him to access it.

"They can make it as easy as they want, if they don't have it accessible, it makes no difference to me," he said.

The concrete foundation for the community mailbox has already been laid, but Strong is hoping the plans are still open to change and consultation.

Canada Post has the foundation laid for a community mailbox in Philip Strong's Mount Pearl neighbourhood, but the legally blind man says he won't be able to safely access it due to its location. (CBC)

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