The national fight to keep Canada Post’s tradition of door-to-door mail delivery arrived in Mission Wednesday afternoon.
Four CP letter carriers, current and retired, stood in the cold rain in front of the post office on First Avenue asking residents to sign a petition calling on the federal government to reverse the cuts to Canada Post services. The petition is organized by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
Mission residents seemed sympathetic. Many stopped, and in just a few hours, the small group had collected 47 signatures.
Canada Post is fazing out home delivery over the next five years, opting for community mailboxes instead. The Crown corporation will also require 8,000 fewer postal workers, which it will lose by attrition, and it will raise the price of stamps. The major reforms are expected to save significant costs after CP reported a loss before tax of $129 million for the third quarter of 2013. Although demand for parcel mail has grown, it has not overcome declines in letter mail.
Deroche resident Angel Hoare, who organized the campaign in Mission and whose carrier route skirts the city, is concerned the service cuts will mean that seniors will have difficulty accessing their mail if it’s not home-delivered. She also notes that community mailboxes are not secure enough, and that the community aspect of home delivery is taken away.
“If I don’t see a couple of seniors on my route, for instance, I will knock on their door and say, ‘You OK, Mr. Brown? I haven’t seen you in a couple of days.’…You’re part of the community,” said Hoare.
The campaigners argue that CP is in much better financial shape than perceived, and that it has made a profit in 17 of the last 18 years.
“There’s no reason for any of these cuts. If the government is serious about their job creation plan, they should be looking at extending door-to-door service to people who are getting their mail from community mailboxes,” said campaigner and Maple Ridge resident Ed Nicholles, who retired from 32 years as a carrier with CP.