By Robert Frank
Pointe Claire city council passed a resolution July 3, vigorously opposing Canada Post’s plan to close its century-and-a-half-old post office in Pointe Claire Village.
The city called on Canada Post “to conduct a genuine public consultation with the people and organizations who are affected by the decision.”
At the moment, Canada Post is instead relying on an online survey to gauge public reaction to the prospective closure. Anyone with Internet access can participate, regardless of their connection to the issue.
Canada Post spokeswoman Geneviève Latour told The Suburban that “we will be collecting feedback from customers until July 19.”
She said that if a decision is finalized to sell the village post office, “we have a process in place that we will follow to make sure that the building is put on the market in an appropriate time.”
“Customers can mail feedback to our head office in Ottawa, or they can go to www.canadapost.ca/retail to provide their comments about this position.”
“There has been a decline in revenue at the Pointe Claire Village post office during the past five years,” she explained, adding that “there are about seven post offices within a 5 km radius—some a short distance away.”
Pointe Claire residents interviewed by The Suburban attributed the village post office’s decline to other factors, including reduced hours of operation and surly customer service.
City officials protested that any decision should be informed by more than just economic merit. They said that Canada Post should not ignore the social impact of the post office and the need for postal service in the village—not to mention the facility’s 150-year history in Pointe Claire.
“The building’s historical value well exceeds the simple sale of stamps,” read the councillors’ resolution, which they sent to the riding’s federal representative Francis Scarpaleggia and provincial representative Geoffrey Kelley.
“I’m opposed to this closing,” Scarpaleggia told The Suburban in an interview. “The post office is part of a larger, unparalleled cityscape that gives Pointe Claire Village its character and attracts people from all over Montreal and off-island.”
“I have sent letters to the Minister of Transport, who is responsible for Canada Post, as well as to Canada Post itself, together with a petition which was signed by more than 800 people,” the federal MP said.