Pender curious how Canada Post plan will work

Diane Crocker
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Mayor Charles Pender is seen next to a mailbox on West Street in Corner Brook. — Star photo by Diane Crocker

CORNER BROOK  How Canada Post will roll out its plan to switch from home delivery to community mailboxes in Corner Brook is not yet known, but Mayor Charles Pender does have some concerns with the change.

“We have an aging population and some fairly rugged terrain in this city, so I’m just concerned about how people are actually going to get their mail,” said Pender on Friday. “If we’re going to go to the community mailboxes it’s going to be somewhat difficult for individuals to do that.”

Pender understands the change is due to a significant decrease in the volume of mail and revenue, but said he’s curious how it is going to work.

“I don’t know if they realize it, what issues they’re going to have here in Corner Brook,” he said. “We don’t generally have a lot of sidewalks.”

He’s concerned that, with the weather and terrain, people will probably use their vehicles to get to the mailboxes.

“There’s going to be issues around traffic and people parking on the sides of roads to pick up their mail.”

Pender said another question is whether there is space available, not only for the mailboxes, but for people to pull off the road safely. There’s also the question of parking and providing a safe place for people to walk.

“This is going to create more problems than I think (Canada Post is) anticipating, especially in a community like ours. It might be different if you have a city that’s a newer developed city with wider avenues and lanes and parking space and flatter terrain.

“We don’t have that here.”

In terms of finding space for the boxes, Pender said it may be a question of if municipal or Crown land is available. He said in most of the older ares of the city, that land is occupied.

The mayor said the city hasn’t heard from Canada Post yet, but spokesperson Anick Losier said the federal Crown corporation will be looking to work with the city as the plans proceed.

“We work with the municipalities who tell us where we can install those equipments and then we’ll have a whole process in which we’ll alert the residents that are affected, how it’s going to go the timing of it, where to pick up their keys,” said Losier, adding she didn’t have a timeline for when the mode of delivery in Corner Brook will change.

“We’re just starting the planning,” she said. “Obviously, the announcement was the beginning of us telling everybody what our plans are.”

She said teams are busy planning which communities to go into first and how they are going to deploy the process. Losier was also unsure of how many mailboxes will be located in this city.

“It’s hard because Corner Brook is not even St. John’s or Moncton, N.B.” she said. “It’s really going to depend on the neighbourhood and where we can install our equipment as approved by the municipality.

“The change at the end of the day is about adapting ourselves to how people are using (Canada Post) nowadays and making sure that we deliver. We will continue this service, it’s just going to be done in a different way.”

Pender said the city is open to working with Canada Post on the transition.

“We’ll have to work with them as best we can, but until we see what they intend to do then obviously it’s going to be kind of difficult for us to imagine how they’re going to do what they intend to do,” he said.

The mayor also has concerns on potential job losses at Canada Post and how that will affect the economy of the city.

Losier said in terms of the corporation’s employee base, no one will be affected.

“Our people have job security,” she said.

She said 2,000 to 3,000 people are scheduled for retirement every year for the next five years.

“Every time a job is going to come up, whether it’s management or unionized employees, we’re going to look at it and say ‘do we need this position?’

“Any reduction in workforce is going to be done through attrition and it’s going to be about 6,000 to 8,000 across Canada.”

Organizations: Canada Post

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Moncton, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Rworried
    December 16, 2013 - 06:01

    I'm a little puzzled, who brings the mail to the mail boxes? If the mail person can get to the mail box and fiddle about unlocking it and sorting through to put it in it's rightful slot why can't they just drop it at your house. Is it worth all the misery they are going to inflict on people. Not everyone has a vehicle or a good pair of legs. This is progress in reverse.

  • Sue Markham
    December 14, 2013 - 17:15

    Just a mathematical calculation...8,000 less postal workers jobs translates into $400,000,000 per year less money that will go into the Canadian economy, Did anyone think of that?

    • david
      December 16, 2013 - 13:42

      Economic math used by the ignorant and/or innumerate is hilarious and dangerous.

  • david
    December 14, 2013 - 10:11

    This is the 21st century.....there are no horse-and-buggies on the roads, there are no are no telegraph offices, there are almost no phone booths left. Yes, Corner Brook is an elderly town and not everyone uses e-mail...and the end of mail delivery is just one of the littany of discomforts that overseeing a complete civic failure and eventual ghost town entails. The world is moving on, get used to it.

    • george p b
      December 14, 2013 - 13:19

      Dartmouth NS has been doing this for years... And I like the old way better.....