© Photo by Chris McCarthy
Ford Neal is shown in Corner Brook on Friday.
CORNER BROOK Any hope sidewalk construction might help Canada Post reinstate home mail delivery on West Valley Road is likely a moot point these days.
Ford Neal, 90, lives roughly a kilometre away from the mailboxes where his mail is now delivered. He was vocal about maintaining the home delivery service, but figures it may be a lost cause for sure now.
âI think itâs ridiculous,â he said. âThis is something we have had for years and years and now itâs gone.â
One year ago Canada Post announced it would no longer be delivering mail to the doors of homes from 74 to 106 West Valley Road in Corner Brook because it was a safety hazard for its carriers.
The western side of the road in that area of the city has no sidewalk. In winter, snowbanks forced mail carriers and other pedestrians out into the busy street.
The solution was for the people living in the affected area to go to the Canada Post outlet in Maple Valley Road to get their mail until community boxes could be set up.
Those boxes are now set up in the parking lot of the First United Church on Park Street.
Chris Neal, Fordâs son, had taken up his fatherâs cause. He had written the City of Corner Brook to ask if sidewalk construction in the affected area could be considered.
Building a sidewalk, he figured, might help convince Canada Post to bring back home mail delivery to his dad and his neighbours.
Neal had correspondence from the previous city council late last summer. The city said it would look into it, but could not promise a new sidewalk would be a priority.
Neal had intended to bring the issue up with the new city council elected in September. He was waiting for the new council to get its feet wet and settled in before approaching them.
Before he could do so, Canada Post announced it will be phasing out all home delivery across Canada in the coming year or so in favour of the community boxes his father already has to use.
The younger Neal still wants to see a sidewalk in the neighbourhood for safety reasons, but doesnât think it will help getting the mail service back.
âI think we all know the answer on that one,â he said. âRemember that â and many more things â when it comes time to vote on what (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper and his ship of fools have done for the average Canadian citizen.â