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.
Canada Post is installing community mailboxes across Hamilton Mountain as part of a nationwide plan to phase out urban door-to-door mail delivery.
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.
Read more: Canada Post and Hamilton square off in landmark mail delivery case – Latest Hamilton news – CBC Hamilton
From the Toronto Star:
Canada Post is refusing to disclose any information related to complaints about mail delivery last year or the end of door-to-door home delivery.
The Star filed two separate requests under the federal Access to Information Act and despite months of wrangling over the wording of the requests Canada Post flatly rejected the requests and is keeping all records secret.
The Star asked for aggregate data and a summary of the types of complaints related to both mail delivery in 2014 and the switch to community mailboxes.
In response to the Star’s requests, the Crown corporation, which only became subject to Access to the Information Act in 2007, said it is keeping the information secret because disclosure of the information “could reasonably be expected to prejudice the competitive position of a government institution or to interfere with contractual or other negotiations of a government institution.”
As well, it said the information being sought “contains trade secrets, or of financial, commercial, scientific or technical information” that belongs to and has consistently been treated as confidential by Canada Post.
This position is in contrast to that taken by other public institutions, including the Toronto Transit Commission and the Toronto Public Library, which regularly disclose complaints when asked.
Michel Drapeau, a law professor at the University of Ottawa who specializes in access to information laws, noted Canada Post has a monopoly on mail delivery in Canada, so it can hardly argue its economic interests could be prejudiced if complaint information is revealed.
“Canada Post is, to my mind, beyond the pale,” Drapeau said. “They really don’t care. It’s as if they consider themselves above and beyond.”
Source: Canada Post refuses to disclose info about delivery complaints | Toronto Star
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.
Read more: Cities rebel against Canada Post plan to scrap home delivery: Walkom | Toronto Star
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.”
Source: Canada Post’s ‘super’ mailboxes spur growing backlash – Canada – CBC News
OTTAWA, May 15, 2015 /CNW/ – The Canadian Union of Postal Workers welcomes the announcement today from the New Democratic Party of Canada, that if elected, they will restore home mail delivery to those whose service has been cut by the Conservative government.
The announcement was made in the house by MP Robert Chisholm. Mr. Chisholm has done extensive work on this issue in his own constituency and elsewhere, and we thank him for his efforts to defend our public postal service.
In light of this announcement, and a wave of opposition from municipalities and citizens, we demand that Canada Post immediately stop the cuts, including the elimination of home mail delivery.
“It can no longer be denied that this is an election issue. The people of this country deserve a chance to vote on such a major change.” said CUPW National President, Mike Palecek, “It is time for Canada Post management to listen to the overwhelming chorus from the owners of Canada Post – the citizens of this country. It is time for them to scrap this ridiculous plan.”