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It’ll be a historic day in Hamilton courts on Tuesday as Canada Post faces off against the city over where it can put super mailboxes.
But the city wants a say in how they do it and has gone to court to assert those rights. Canada Post rejects this notion, saying federal legislation gives it a mandate to deliver the mail, and that trumps municipal powers.
The fight is being watched by many other municipalities across the country, all of which are facing similar plans from the postal service to install super mailboxes.
Canada Post is already facing a lawsuit from a union representing postal workers that wants the Federal Court to declare the cancellation of home delivery unconstitutional. And a group of Montreal-area mayors last week said they were considering joining the action, accusing Canada Post of ignoring their concerns.
In the face of declining traditional mail volumes, Canada Post announced a plan in December 2013 to end door-to-door delivery and gave itself five years to implement the move to community mailboxes.
Canada Post’s decision to end home mail delivery faces a revolt in the cities.
When the plan was first announced two years ago, many Canadians were indifferent.
Postal workers objected. But that was to be expected. Letter carriers’ jobs are on the line.
Groups representing seniors and the disabled also took to task Canada Post — and the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
They argued that in Canada’s densely populated cities, the elderly and inform would find a daily trek to the community mailbox particularly difficult.
Canada Post said it would try to accommodate them.
Now the Crown corporation is running into an entirely different kind of buzz saw. Residents of older cities like Toronto and Montreal are beginning to realize that once home delivery is eliminated, large, unsightly community mailboxes will have be erected in their areas — possibly right in their front yards.
And they don’t like the idea.
The backlash against Canada Post is growing, with four mayors in the greater Montreal area joining the legal battle against the Crown corporation’s decision to phase out urban home mail delivery by 2018.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre says he and the mayors of Laval, Longueil and Westmount are frustrated with the “cavalier” approach of Canada Post to complaints about community mailboxes since the plan was announced in December 2013.
They’ll be joining a union lawsuit before the Federal Court aimed at overturning the post office’s decision to replace door-to-door delivery with so-called “superboxes.”