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Going on record: Postal workers want Halifax to oppose Canada Post cutbacks

10,000 homes in Lower Sackville, Bedford lose door-to-door delivery this fall

by Robert Devet

Photo Robert Devet
Photo Robert Devet

K'JIPUKTUK, HALIFAX - Well over 70 municipalities Canada-wide, including some of Canada's largest cities, have publicly expressed displeasure with Canada Post's plans to eliminate door to door delivery.

Tony Rogers, president of Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) Nova Local would like Halifax to join this group.

"We are sending correspondence to all councillors," Rogers tells the Halifax Media Co-op. "We would like to present our case, and see if at this point councillors are willing to put a resolution forward on our behalf."

In February the Town of Antigonish passed a resolution that mentions the importance of a stable mail delivery system and expresses concerns about downloading of costs and liabilities to local government.

Other Nova Scotia municipalities going on record as opposing the Canada Post plans are the Town of Truro, Cape Breton Regional Muncipality, Colchester County and the Town of Westville.

The issue affects Halifax more than most municipalities. Bedford and parts of Lower Sackville will be the first Nova Scotia communities to lose door to door delivery this fall. 10,000 homes will be affected.

Halifax mayor Mike Savage did not appear very keen on the idea of formally opposing the Canada Post plans, Roger says.

Rogers met with mayor Savage prior to the Canada Post announcement that Bedford and Lower Sackville would be early implementers of community mailboxes.

"His response was, well, I get my mail out of a community mailbox now and I don't find it an undue hardship," says Rogers.

"We explained to him how the process could lead to the demise of Canada Post, reduction of service and increase in cost, which means that all municipalities will end up without a postal service."

Steve Craig, councillor for Lower Sackville, had not yet seen the letter from CUPW Nova Local when we talked to him on Monday. That's why he did not want to directly respond to the request.

"I know that we have a lot of constituents who have brought up a number of concerns over the last months," Craig tells the Halifax Media Co-op.

"I met with Canada Post in February when they announced this and expressed my concern, about the locations [of the community mail boxes], about our citizens ability to get to them, accessibility, the cleaning of it, if it is going to impact traffic an the safety of our citizens, how about people who are disabled?"

"There are all kinds of factors there that need to be examined and I am hoping that Canada Post will do that," Craig says.

Rogers believes that councillor Craig's concerns are valid, but he doubts that Canada Post will address them.

"It has been my experience in dealing with Canada Post in the past, and in this whole process right now, that they really don't consult except with invited guests," says Rogers.

Meanwhile, at least one more of Craig's Lower Sackville constituents expressed his displeasure with Canada Post's consultative capabilities when he learned that the planned location for a community mailbox bordered his backyard.

Rogers suggests one more reason why councillors should be concerned about Canada Post's intentions.

"Over $4.5-milion in salaries [annually] will be gone from the local economy if we get the job losses that Canada Post projects to come out of this. Those workers that would be unemployed all live in HRM."

See also:

Dartmouth Town Hall opposes Canada Post cuts

Letter from a postal worker

The Postal Bank as the People's Bank?

Follow Robert Devet on Twitter @DevetRobert



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