It looks like Canada Post might just abandon its plans to deliver people’s mail to cluster boxes and will keep putting it in front of peoples’ front doors with the election of liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who pledged to restore previous service levels.
But don’t be so sure.
Reports have surfaced saying that Canada Post waited a full week after the Oct. 19 election before it “temporarily” halt these conversions In other words the postal authority is treating at least some of these cluster boxes as a fait accompli, according to the Prince Edward Island Guardian http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/Opinion/Editorials/2015-10-29/article-4325853/Canada-Post-snubs-Trudeau/1
Cluster, or “community” boxes are general delivery locations in areas such as suburban developments. Supposedly, it’s cheaper and more efficient to drop mail in those central containers. Canada Post started conversions to cluster boxes two years ago.
In some ways delivering to cluster boxes is little different from what they do in countries like Pakistan where all the mail for whole villages is dumped in the local square once a week, heedless of personal privacy and respect.
Does a highly industrialized progressive country like Canada want the standards for its national postal service to fall so low?
Canada Post’s attitude has eerie similarities to what’s going on in this country. Here the U.S. Postal Service cuts back local services despite flurries of protest from area business people. This has even attracted the attention of some Senators, particularly from rural and less populated areas whose constituents depend heavily on the USPS.
I daresay Canada has many more areas that are remote and sparsely populated than the U.S.
Trudeau, who was elected in October, replaced Stephen Harper, the conservative who favored privatization and a downgrading of Canada Post with cluster boxes to replace at-home delivery.
Already the Canadian Postal Workers Union has filed a lawsuit to stop these conversions http://www.cupw.ca/en/campaign/resources/statement-cupw-canada-posts-temporary-suspension-plan-end-home-mail-delivery.
“We would also like the post office to restore delivery to people who have lost it since the cuts were announced in 2013,” said the labor group in a statement.
For its part, Canada Post says it’s holding off on converting about 460,000 addresses nationwide to community mailboxes. “As a result, all conversions planned for November and December 2015 and those announced for 2016 will be placed on hold. Customers affected by this decision will receive a letter within the next few weeks advising them of the status of their mail delivery service.
But in locations where the 10-month internal and community conversion process is complete, customers will collect mail and parcels at their community mailbox. This includes customers set to begin receiving their mail and parcels in their boxes in October https://www.canadapost.ca/web/en/blogs/announcements/details.page?article=2015/10/26/statement_from_canad&cattype=announcements&cat=newsreleases.
So tough luck for those people who’ve already lost home delivery.
On the other hand, mail delivery north of the border is an ongoing and costly political headache the party in power may just not want to deal with, argues the Toronto Star http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/10/28/justin-trudeau-inherits-the-canada-post-home-mail-delivery-fiasco-walkom.html.
Given all these pressures one wonders if, and how long the Trudeau government can hold to its pledge to reinvigorate Canada’s postal operations.
And you can bet the USPS is keeping a close eye on this.