PEI

'I feel very badly': Island MP apologizes for government's failed home delivery promise

The federal government Wednesday confirmed Canadians who were switched from home delivery to community mailboxes under the Harper Conservatives will not have their home delivery restored.

Home mail delivery won't be restored, Trudeau government announces

The federal government confirmed Canadians who were switched from home delivery to community mailboxes under the Harper Conservatives will not have their home delivery restored. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

An Island MP is apologizing for what is now a failed election promise from the Trudeau government.

The federal government Wednesday confirmed Canadians who were switched from home delivery to community mailboxes under the Harper Conservatives will not have their home delivery restored.

This means the end of the Liberals' 2015 campaign promise to reverse the Harper government's community mailbox initiative. 

Charlottetown MP Sean Casey lobbied government to follow through with the promise to restore door-to-door delivery.

But now he finds himself apologizing for his government's failure to fulfil one of its campaign-trail promises.

Challenge for people with disabilities

"I'm sorry, I did my best," Casey told CBC following an unrelated press conference in Charlottetown Wednesday afternoon.

"I feel very badly that this is something we ran on that we have not delivered."

'I don't feel one bit good about us not delivering on a commitment we made during the campaign,' says Charlottetown MP Sean Casey. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

All of Charlottetown and some other Island communities moved to community mailboxes under the Harper government directive. At the time, many residents, as well groups such as the P.E.I. Council of People with Disabilities, expressed their displeasure.

We were told home delivery would be restored, in fact maybe even built on. Now we're finding out that's not the case.— Marcia Carroll

Marcia Carroll, executive director of the council, said the community mailboxes have been "a significant issue" for her membership and the people she represents. 

"The boxes were put up very quickly with no consideration to universal design, or access for seniors or people with disabilities, and it's presenting real challenges," she said.

"It's a campaign promise broken from our perspective. We were told home delivery would be restored, in fact maybe even built on. Now we're finding out that's not the case."​

'The boxes were put up very quickly with no consideration to universal design, or access for seniors or people with disabilities,' says Marcia Carroll. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Despite the Liberals failure to fulfil their 2015 home-delivery promise, Casey said public opinion, which was once united against community mailboxes, is now "frankly divided."

Public opinion not unanimous

"I don't feel one bit good about us not delivering on a commitment we made during the campaign, but I'm also mindful of the reality that this is no longer an issue on which there is unanimous opinion in Charlottetown," he added. 

"There are a good number of people who feel it would be a waste of money to tear out those boxes now."

The federal government also announced it's asking Canada Post to create a national advisory council. 

That council's big job will be to find ways to make it easier for seniors and people with mobility issues to use their community mailboxes. 

And there will be more community mailboxes popping up around P.E.I.. The government said Canada Post will continue to place community boxes in new subdivisions.

With files from Steve Bruce

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