For Immediate Release
MONTREAL, QC – The message coming from the public commission is clear: Montrealers want to keep their door-to-door delivery and they’re concerned about the consequences of losing it.
For three days, Montreal residents spoke at public meetings on the impact of ending door-to-door delivery that were organized by the Commission sur le développement social et la diversité montréalaise. Most of the presenters at the Commission were firmly opposed to the cuts.
“Canada Post’s decision is mind-boggling,” said Karine Triollet of Action Gardien, a roundtable group representing the Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood. “Seniors and people with limited mobility unable to go pick up their mail, mailboxes that pollute and spoil neighbourhoods, and thousands of jobs being lost… Has the Corporation forgotten its mandate to ensure a quality public service?”
A member of ROPMM, a Quebec group for the disabled, stated that installing group mailboxes on sidewalks would “not only violate the principle of universal access, but it would seriously compromise the safety of the disabled.”
Canada Post’s damage control attempts to require those with disabilities to fill out a form and have it signed by a doctor in order to get home delivery are clearly not working.
“We urge our members and communities not to complete this form or have it filled out by a doctor,” said an indignant Linda Gauthier, President of the Regroupement des organismes de promotion du Montréal métropolitain (RAPLIQ).”If they do, Canada Post will be able to manipulate people any way it wants.”
MP Alain Giguère, who has seen the problems firsthand in his riding, sharply criticized the failure of Canada Post to consult with the affected communities as “amateurish and disrespectful.”
“Before announcing these cuts, Canada Post held invite-only meetings in just 46 communities, published misleading financial forecasts and clearly did not consider the consequences for seniors or people with mobility issues,” said Alain Duguay, President of the Montreal Local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. “Montreal has just shown us what really listening to the public looks like. We now hope that other municipalities will follow suit and hold their own public consultations.”
Since the announcement of the postal service cuts, in December 2013, hundreds of municipalities have passed resolutions or sent letters supporting door-to-door delivery, in many cases calling for a halt to delivery changes until there is proper consultation.
“2014 will be one of Canada Post’s most profitable years,” pointed out Duguay. “It should use its profits to improve services, not take them away.”
“Door-to-door mail delivery supports individuals and community organizations, and contributes to the development of local communities,” said Normand Laforce of the Comité logement Ville-Marie. “For these reasons, the Ville-Marie Housing Committee believes that Canada Post is a public service that must be preserved.”
The groups have issued a joint statement (below) calling on Canada Post and the federal government to halt the cuts, hold real consultations, and look at other means of generating revenue.
As residents of Montreal, we call on Canada Post to immediately stop its cuts and consult adequately with the public. The post office belongs to us and we deserve a say in what happens to it. We are concerned about the many costs to our City, to our community and to our quality of life that taking away our door-to-door delivery will entail. We are also deeply concerned about the impact of taking away door-to-door delivery on the elderly and people with mobility issues. We note that Canada Post remains profitable and therefore do not see the need for these cuts to be forced upon us. We therefore call on the federal government to declare an immediate moratorium on the cuts and conduct a proper public review of our post office. We further call on the federal government to release Canada Post’s postal banking study and explore service expansion and innovative ways to generate revenue and keep our public postal service working for all.
For more information, please contact Alain Duguay at 514-207-1490.