June 23, 2016

On June 20, AMO submitted comments to the Government of Canada’s independent review of Canada Post.  The review is being conducted by a Task Force and examine the cost and need for current Canada Post activities, Canada Post’s current and projected financial situation and options for new business lines.  Following the Task Force’s information gathering and cost analysis, a parliamentary committee will examine options, consult Canadians and make recommendations to the government on the future of Canada Post.

AMO outlined the following key municipal concerns:
  • the responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of community mailboxes (paving, lighting, snow removal, clean-up, and policing related to vandalism and theft);
  • accessibility (especially for seniors and people living with disabilities); and
  • the loss of mail delivery jobs in the province.
AMO particularly emphasized the impact of changes to Canada Post services on rural areas and urged the Task Force to ensure changes are consistent with the 2009 Canadian Postal Service Charter.  The Charter recognizes that rural postal service remains an integral part of Canada’s universal mail service, maintains a moratorium on rural post office closures and establishes service standards for both postal delivery and post office accessibility.

As this is a federal issue, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been engaged in advocacy, and has developed three principles which should inform the review.  AMO had previously endorsed these principles and has asked that they be carefully considered during the Task Force’s review.  
  1. Meaningful Consultations: Land-use planning, service delivery and right-of-way management is unique in each city and community across the country.  A one-size-fits-all approach will not work for every municipality.  Canada Post must work with local governments individually to ensure meaningful consultation that the location of community mailboxes meets the needs of the community.
  2. Partnerships: Servicing municipal infrastructure is the responsibility of local governments. Yet, municipal governments must not inherit the mandate of maintaining federally owned mailboxes.  Either Canada Post must work with the local government to develop agreeable processes to maintain this infrastructure or Canada Post must compensate local governments for this work.
  3. Congruence with Municipal Planning: As much as possible, the changes to door-to-door mail delivery must align with local strategies and processes aimed at fostering and supporting age/disability-friendly communities.  Unique strategies must be developed in partnership with local governments and/or individuals.