By Robert Frank
Laval’s support for communal mailboxes is eroding as the city continues to sour on how Canada Post has handled the monopoly mail carrier’s cost-cutting decision.
“We have decided to get on the bandwagon together with Montreal and the [regional] Conseil des municipalités métropolitain (CMM),” David de Cotis told The Suburban.
The city initially took an upbeat approach to the decision to cease home delivery of lettermail.
“Before, our position was to work with Canada Post and see where mailboxes should be installed,” de Cotis said in an interview, March 6. “Whether to move them 20 ft north or south. We’re not getting cooperation from Canada Post. For that reason, we decided to join and support our colleagues in Montreal and at CMM as well as in the Union des municipalités du Québec as one unified front against installation of group mailboxes.”
“It’s affecting our seniors,” he said. “When it’s a new development, you know from the outset that your mail will not be delivered to your door, but we have senior citizens living in Laval in older neighbourhoods where mail has [always] been delivered to at their homes. Now for them to walk a block or two in bad winter conditions is not something that we [would] wish on our elderly.”
De Cotis explained that Laval believes that it is being stonewalled by Canada Post. He said that the city no longer has a choice other than to oppose the measure.
“We wanted to work together to limit the visual pollution of these mailboxes,” he said. “How it would affect the handicapped. Visiting a group mailbox is something which is difficult for them.”
“They really have a veto on that,” he said. “That’s why we said at first that we had no choice and why we decided to work with them in cooperation.”
“We took that approach with Canada Post but it was not reciprocated,” de Cotis concluded. “There was no real collaboration. Canada Post needs to look beyond an administrative decision to see that there are human beings [who are affected by] it.”