EDITORIAL: Canada Post in deep trouble

Negotiations over mailbox placement sure to take long time

Canada Post has created a major headache for itself, at least that’s how it appears to us.

Saanich council brought to light this week the absence of consultation and co-ordination by the Crown corporation with urban municipalities for the placement of community mailboxes.

While Saanich council took steps this week to voice official disapproval for being kept in the dark on this controversial plan, other Capital Region jurisdictions confirmed they hadn’t been contacted on the matter by Canada Post either.

Given the number of urban centres across the country that will be affected by the change, this is no small undertaking. Canada Post has yet to negotiate where such mailboxes might be located and what changes to right-of-ways, traffic flow or engineering would need to be done first to accommodate the larger boxes.

We wonder how Canada Post, which pled financial hardship in announcing its intention to remove home delivery, will be able to afford doing the kind of consultation necessary to work with the hundreds of municipalities affected by the move.

The corporation expects home delivery to cease in some areas by the end of this year. If its consultation process is anywhere near as thorough as local jurisdictions hope, the process could take years, even if neighbouring municipalities such as those in Greater Victoria are rolled into one set of negotiations.

Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra made the company’s cost-cutting moves sound like a walk in the park, literally, when he said last month the community mailboxes would provide seniors with more exercise. And a corporation spokesperson reminded the News this week that multi-unit community mailboxes have been around for decades.

We’re still left incredulous at the fact an organization that has handled mail delivery in this country for nearly 240 years did not appear to consider the logistical impact of the most sweeping change in its history.

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