They just want someone at Canada Post to listen, nothing more, nothing less.
And that’s what’s galling a London resident and at least one city councillor.
The nation’s postal service is going to abandon door-to-door delivery in favour of community mailboxes (CMB) — 42,000 in London this fall alone — regardless of whether people want them, but it’s the lack of communication as to where they’ll be located that has people upset.
Nonetheless, London’s Jan Pennycook and Ward 10 Coun. Virginia Ridley remain committed to being heard.
Pennycook has been a resident in the Hillcrest area, off and on, since 1955. She grew up in the house and would later take it over after her parents died.
Like many residents across London, Pennycook isn’t as concerned with Canada Post’s decision to scale back its costs as they are with the way the corporation has chosen to do so.
“If they want to save door-to-door, they can do that. That’s not my role,” Pennycook said. “My role is to make sure this community is well served, to speak up and say this is a ridiculous location for a mailbox. Why aren’t they talking to us? Why aren’t we being given a say?”
The problem in Pennycook’s neighbourhood, one shared in locations cross the city, is the planned location for the large-scale community mailboxes have been deemed by residents to be either illogical or downright dangerous.
In Pennycook’s area, there’s a combination of steady pedestrian traffic, a high volume of vehicle traffic, and no sidewalks. That situation, she says, will only be complicated when people have to walk to a planned CMB in the deep snows of winter.
Once the planned location of some 42,000 community mailboxes was shared through social media, Pennycook went to about 30 neighbours, making sure they understood the potential impact such plans would have on their homes.
What she wants Canada Post to do is to speak with residents and explain why the community mailbox approach is best.
“Why haven’t they looked at delivering every other day or twice a week? Nobody has allowed us that option? We will work with them, but we aren’t being given the opportunity. I have personal materials that I don’t want sitting down at the corner or around the block.”
Coun. Ridley has been at the forefront of pushing for a greater effort by Canada Post to work with municipalities on this initiative.
She said the corporation’s plans “need to be done right,” as it is the city that is ultimately responsible for people who slip and fall on our roads, not to mention the costs involved in installing and maintaining new sidewalks.
These are the kind of questions that drove the City of Hamilton to pass a bylaw requiring Canada Post to obtain a $200 permit per site to install the community mailboxes (CMBs) on municipal land.
On June 11, however, the court determined the bylaw did not apply to the Crown corporation.
Hamilton Coun. Terry Whitehead, who was quoted in the Hamilton Spectator recently saying the decision was likely only round one in the legal battle, was actually in London that day to speak with a group of area residents.
Whitehead spoke to about 80 people at Oakridge Presbyterian Church, including Ridley, at a meeting which was put together by Londoners for Door-to-Door.
Ridley said Whitehead was “very clear” that the fight against Canada Post wasn’t over in Hamilton.
She was quick to add it isn’t over in London either.
“People want to see the conversation take place before something goes wrong,” Ridley said. “Before that CMB goes in, and it hasn’t been properly planned for, then it’s too late for the conversation.