Tales of open revolt in Hamilton over Canada Post's plans to end door-to-door mail delivery seem to have inspired one Guelph city councillor to speak up on the issue of installation of community mailboxes. While Guelph is not amongst the communities already announced to be losing some portion of home delivery in exchange for community mailboxes, Leanne Piper is saying that if the day comes, then the city should be consulted about their placement.
Piper spoke to CTV News about a letter council recently agreed to send to Canada Post regarding the placement of potential community mailboxes in the Royal City. Piper's concerns mostly come down to a matter of accessibility, and how far people might have to travel in order to pick up their mail. “We have areas that don’t have public parks … that can accommodate mailboxes. What are we going to do in those neighbourhoods?” Piper said. “How far are people going to have to walk?”
The City of Hamilton took Canada Post to court early this year on the basis that the city should have the final say in the location of the so-called "super mailboxes" after residents complained about the sometimes sudden, random and obtrusive placement of the mailboxes. The court ended up siding with Canada Post, and an appeal may be in the offing as dissatisfaction with the plan and a general lack of consultation grows.
At the last council meeting, a unanimous vote authorized the submission of a letter to the Minister of Transportation in Ottawa to immediately halt the installation of community mailboxes and hold “full and meaningful consultation” by Canada Post “with all stakeholders, holders, including the City of Guelph and its residents.” Two other motions, one that asked staff about updating encroachment bylaw, and another to ask for staff to develop a process that would require Canada Post to apply for installation permits, both failed.
The fate of community mailboxes and the growing protest against them will likely become election issues in the now ongoing Federal campaign.