Nova Scotia

Canada Post community mailbox stop leads to call to restore service

Nearly 46,000 customers in Nova Scotia were switched to community mailboxes over the last two years. An organization representing retirees says it's time they switched back to door-to-door delivery.

CARP Nova Scotia calls for return to home delivery after Canada Post puts the brakes on program

Bill VanGorder says home mail delivery is essential for many seniors and should be restored across Canada. (Carolyn Ray/CBC)

An organization representing Canadian retirees says it's time door-to-door mail delivery was restored.

The request comes hours after Canada Post made the surprise announcement to halt its community mailbox conversion

Since the program began, nearly 46,000 points of call lost delivery service to their doorsteps in the Halifax Regional Municipality, according to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers:

  • 9,950 locations in Dartmouth were converted in 2014.
  • 35,911 locations in the Halifax-area switched to community mailboxes in 2015.

Bill VanGorder, the chair of CARP Nova Scotia representing retirees, said he's thrilled that the plan has been stopped. It's now time to put it in reverse, he said.

"It would be unfair to stop putting community mailboxes that aren't done and not to reverse it to those who were recently done."

VanGorder said he's been flooded with complaints since the conversion began.

"Everything from inadequate installation, inability to get to the boxes, unsafe placement of the boxes," he said. "They just barrelled forward with this change and this cancellation of home delivery."

VanGorder lives on the Halifax peninsula, an area that still has door-to-door delivery. He says it's an essential service for seniors. 

"It's different in a community where you move and you know there's not going to be home delivery," he said.

"But when you've had home delivery in your community and you count on it for your cheques and bank statements, then you want to keep some form of home delivery."

Satisfied customers

While the plan has been controversial, some say the new service suits their needs. 

While there have been many complaints about the program, some say they've adjusted to the new community mailboxes. (Carolyn Ray/CBC)

When John Hart lost home delivery last month, he was initially frustrated. The keys didn't work and it took several days to sort it out. Now, he's used to picking up his mail down the street from his Halifax home. 

"The only thing that's changed for us is we don't get mail every day now," he said. "We only go every two or three days. Other than that, it's OK for us."

But Hart says if he had the option, he'd vote for the swift return of home delivery — especially for his neighbours.

"You have older people in the winter who can't get out and about. They'll have a hard time getting mail at all," he said.

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