Saturday, March 21, 2015

This is what community sounds like

Canvassing door to door, to save door to door:  ever wondered what is it really like?

Listen to this short sound documentary by University of Western Ontario broadcast journalism student Hala Ghonaim, who is also a reporter / newscaster at 106.9 The X radio at Fanshawe College.

See more photos from our campaign, including neighbourhood canvassing here. Find out about our next canvass and other campaign activities on our Facebook page, or contact Londoners for Door to Door by e mail:
or by phone: CUPW Local office, 519 672 4417.
You can also follow us on  Twitter: @PPL4Door2Door

But most of all, come out and join us, talk to you neighbours, family, co-workers and friends about this issue. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

What postal code areas are targeted for 'super' mailbox (SSMB) conversion?

In London, the two areas targeted in 2015 for conversion from door-to-door mail delivery to self-serve mailboxes (SSMBs -- they have nothing to do with 'community') are in the Canada Post Depot 1 area, i.e. parts of postal codes N5V, N5W, N5X and N5Y, and Depot 4 area, parts of postal codes N6G and N6H:

Source for maps: City of London Civic Works Committee Report, February 2015 (full report archived here). For detailed lists of proposed SSMB locations in the above areas (plus a variety of other Ontario municipalities), please see this page (a work in progress).

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Report on impacts of postal service cuts, now available in English

As previously reported here, a broad community-based consultation process in Montreal about the impacts of proposed postal cuts led to some great recommendations last month about how that municipality should respond. The full report is now available in English, for download.

These recommendations raise a lot of questions for Londoners, and for London's city council.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Let's Press for REAL Community Meetings on Mail Delivery

It felt like someone opened a window and let in a breath of fresh air into City Hall. At the Civic Works Committee meeting on March 3, 2015, our campaign to protect our communities against Canada Post’s unilateral cuts to door-todoor mail delivery took an important step forward. Councillors Ridley, Park and Van Holst passed a motion calling among other things for a halt to the mail service cuts while Canada Post undertakes proper consultation with targeted communities. That motion was ‘tabled’ or postponed by the full City Council on March 10, at the request of Councillor Ridley. She read a letter from a Canada Post representative committing to delay the implementations of the cuts until September to allow for fuller consultations.

This is the first time a community movement has succeeded in slowing down the Canada Post steamroller. This delay is a significant victory is our fight to keep door-to-door mail delivery. London is one of 24 communities in Ontario currently targeted for community mailbox ‘retrofitting’ by the end of 2015. None of these communities has welcomed Canada Post’s plans.

The motion drafted by Councillor Ridley and passed by the Civic Works Committee has not gone away – it is simply postponed. The City of London is in effect giving Canada Post a chance to conduct serious public consultation before returning to this motion. The retroactive imposition of self-serve community mailboxes throughout the city in residential areas that were never designed for them raises many additional questions. The legal agreement the City has yet to negotiate with Canada Post will also need to stipulate issues such as the placement of recycling bins at community mailbox locations, weekly recycling pick up, and compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Where’s the Mayor? 
The motion tabled at City Council also requested that Mayor Matt Brown send a letter to Deepak Chopra, CEO of Canada Post, to inform him that the City of London supports the existing delivery system and wishes to retain this valuable service for our community. While the motion did not come to a vote, it is nonetheless high time our Mayor spoke about this issue on behalf of Londoners.

What is needed now: town hall meetings 
The proposed loss of door-to-door postal delivery in the City of London has many serious implications: from traffic safety, parking, impacts on residential home values and privacy, to the ability of the elderly and residents with mobility challenges to continue to receive their mail at home, security of mail, and maintaining the community mailbox area litter and graffiti free, as well as clear of snow and ice.

Such complex issues cannot be addressed adequately through one-to-one chats with individual residents or property owners, which is what Canada Post typically calls “consultation”. Nor can the executives of neighbourhood associations (where they exist) be expected to speak for all residents in the areas targeted for cuts.

We must reject a piecemeal ‘divide-and-conquer’ approach that pits us as individuals or small groups against a large Crown Corporation, and respond instead as communities. While over 1200 properties are directly targeted this year (see proposed locations by postal code areas in London here:  with maps of affected areas here:, all Londoners deserve a meaningful voice on this important issue affecting our communities. The best way to achieve that is hold public town-hall meetings where everyone can hear about the issues and have their say. Those responsible for these proposed cuts need to be present and held accountable. Local Members of Parliament should attend these town-hall meetings, along with Deepak Chopra and our Mayor. Together we can and must demand accountability and protect our communities from these cuts.

David Heap and Sam Trosow, Londoners for Door to Door
Originally published in Scene Magazine, March 12, 2015.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Five Myths about Canada Post’s cuts to home mail delivery:

Canada Post plans to phase out urban home
delivery within five years.  (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)
Half of Londoners already use community mailboxes. What’s the problem?’
About 19% of London’s mailing addresses (35,485 of 182,793, by Canada Post’s own figures) have community mailboxes (more accurately, self-serve mailboxes). Another 30% get apartment lobby delivery — safer and more secure than community mailboxes on the street. Just more than half the mailing addresses in London have door-to-door mail service, now threatened with cuts.
More importantly, existing community mailboxes were integrated as part of planned new subdivisions. What is proposed is different: imposing community mailboxes in neighbourhoods with established door-to-door service, where no public space is allocated for them.
This means they may be installed on municipal easements — sometimes in residents’ yards — with many negative impacts that existing community mailboxes don’t cause. Most of these impacts have yet to be studied by our city council.
Cuts to mail service are necessary in order to avoid burdening taxpayers.
Despite gloomy predictions, Canada Post has turned net profits in every year this century but one (2011, when it locked out employees). Our successful Crown corporation is not losing money. But the proposed cut in mail delivery service could bring massive downloads of costs (as yet undisclosed) to municipal budgets, potentially causing increased city taxes.
Canada Post has significantly engaged the community with its survey.
The Canada Post survey did not offer real choices about mail service, so not surprisingly, only about 16% of households surveyed bothered to respond. This is not the “meaningful consultation” that the Federation Canadian Municipalities calls a prior condition for changes in postal service.
Given a real choice, Londoners’ response rate opposing service cuts is much higher.
Seniors and people with disabilities will be accommodated by Canada Post.
The process offered by Canada Post requires significant disclosure of personal medical information, without guaranteeing what the accommodation might be or how long it would last.
Cuts to door-to-door mail service are a done deal that the city is powerless to oppose.
In this election year, the federal government knows postal service cuts will cost it votes, so Canada Post is hurrying to impose as many community mailboxes as it can, knowing other parties will not support these cuts as Harper’s Conservatives have.
More than 510 municipal councils across Canada have opposed these service cuts. London’s city council can, too. Now that proposed locations for community mailboxes are known (see, we need town hall meetings where federal MPs, Canada Post chief executive Deepak Chopra and our mayor have to face communities that are affected by this loss of service, and account for their decisions.
David Heap and Jan Pennycook are members of Londoners for Door to Door.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Have you got mailbox? Here are the SSMB locations they don't want you to know.

The City of London recently received a request under MFIPPA (Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) to reveal all the locations under consideration for new "retrofitted" SSMBs (self-serve mailboxes, aka 'Super' mailboxes -- they have nothing to do with "community"...). The City has failed to respond with this information, and since it is of vital interest to people liking in targeted neighbourhoods, we are publishing this information here: the full Canada Post list of targeted locations in the Huron-Rideau region, which includes London. 

UPDATE: both PDF and Excel formats of the same list can be found on this page:

The London locations begin on page 207 (postal code N5Y) and run through page 283 (postal code N6J). Check out your postal code and street to see where these eyesore are being (mis-)located in your neighbourhood. After all, as the city of St. John's recently discovered, Canada Post is "intending to put them on public land where available, but there can be mistakes made and it’s important to clarify that.” 

Did they make any mistakes in your neighbourhood? How do the parking, safety, privacy and accessibility look to you? Let your city councillors know, their contact information is here:

Sunday, March 8, 2015

New mailboxes poor fit for older neighbourhoods (Letter in London Free Press, March 7, 2015)

New mailboxes poor fit for older neighbourhoods (London Free Press, March 7, 2015).

In light of the Canada Post proposal to end door-to-door delivery in established neighbourhoods, much has been made of the community mailboxes that have been installed in new construction developments during the past 30 years.
That there have been no complaints about these mailboxes should come as no surprise: the choice to take on a community mailbox was part of the property package. If walking to a mailbox to get your mail was enough of a deterrent, you would not consider purchasing or renting a home in a new neighbourhood.
In addition, community mailboxes in new developments were not to impinge on the property rights of individual home buyers. Clearly Canada Post sees these new homeowners as wealthy because they’ve been in a struggle with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association since 2013 to impose a $200 surcharge per household on all new community mailboxes that are installed.
(Image from London Free Press, March 7, 2015)

The Canada Post decision to retrofit established neighbourhoods with community mailboxes threatens to turn residents of older neighbourhoods into the poor cousins of postal delivery. Residents who did not intend to choose community mailboxes no longer have an alternative, and neighbourhoods that were never designed to accommodate community mailboxes are being forced to accept their placement on the city easement portion of private property.
To insist that all will go well on the basis of past experience with new housing developments is to compare apples to oranges.
At the very least, let’s abandon the claim that based on past experience community mailboxes are problem free. This latest incarnation of self-serve mail is new territory for Canada Post and the potential for serious problems with mail delivery is obvious.
Jan Pennycook


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

London Civic Works Committee speaks up: over to City Council next Tuesday

Recommendation from Civic Works Committee (March 3, 2015) going to full City Council on March 10, 2015.....
WHEREAS Canada Post has announced the discontinuation of door-to-door mail delivery services in select areas in the City of London in favour of transitioning to community mailboxes and has started this transition in other municipalities;

AND WHEREAS all existing community mailboxes in the City of London were planned and integrated into communities while new proposed community mailboxes were not planned for and will be difficult to situate in many neighbourhoods;

AND WHEREAS the transition to community mailboxes will be especially hard on seniors and people living with mobility and health challenges and could undermine their ability to live independently;

AND WHEREAS the transition to community mailbox delivery will have a negative impact on existing communities requiring increased maintenance for litter pick up, snow and ice control, graffiti cleaning, vandalism repair and potentially cause parking and traffic issues resulting in higher costs for the municipality;


The following actions be taken prior to Canada Post making efforts to replace the door-to-door mail delivery service with community mailboxes (CMB) within the City of London:

a)         Canada Post BE REQUESTED to conduct public engagement sessions with impacted communities for all concerned residents by engaging community associations, where present, to host sessions, and by hosting their own sessions where no community association is present;
b)         Local Members of Parliament BE REQUESTED to attend the public engagement sessions;
c)         Canada Post BE ADVISED that the City of London will not endorse Canada Post’s actions prior to the public engagement process being satisfactorily completed;
d)         the Civic Administration BE DIRECTED to negotiate a legal agreement with Canada Post Corporation that defines obligations with respect to community mailboxes located in the City of London’s right-of-ways which would include placement of refuse bins at CMB locations, weekly refuse pick up, as well as compliance with the AODA;
e)         the Mayor BE REQUESTED to send a letter to Deepak Chopra, Chief Executive Officer, Canada Post, to inform Canada Post that the City of London supports the existing delivery system and wishes to retain this valuable service for our community; and,
f)         the staff reported dated March 3, 2015 regarding Canada Post’s Community Mailbox Program BE RECEIVED for information.

Moved by Councillor Virginia Ridley, seconded by Councillor Tanya Park, and supported by Councillor Michael Van Holst. This motion passed 3-1 (Councillor Harold Usher opposed it). 
PLEASE contact Mayor Matt Brown and your City Councillor (others if possible) to let them know you support this motion and you expect them to as well. Councillor contact info can be found here:
Ask your neighbours, co-workers, friends and other London area contacts to do the same!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tecumseh gets a town hall meeting about mail delivery cuts (when will London?)

Canada Post Community Mailbox Issue

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 11:35 to Thu, 03/05/2015 - 20:30

Community mailbox
Joe Comartin, MP is hosting a town hall meeting on March 5th, 6:30PM at the Royal Canadian Legion in Tecumseh regarding the Canada Post Community Mailbox Issue. They are hoping to gather information from the community about how they feel about losing their home delivery. CUPW will be participating, however Canada Post has decided not to participate.

Thursday March 5th 2015 @ 6:30PM
Canadian Legion in Tecumseh
12326 Lanoue Street
Tecumseh, ON N8N 1N3

Montreal calls for moratorium on Canada Post's community mailboxes

Published on: February 26, 2015
Last Updated: February 26, 2015 8:06 PM EST
A community mailbox on 36th Avenue in Lachine, Montreal, Saturday, August 23, 2014.

A community mailbox on 36th Avenue in Lachine, Montreal, Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Phil Carpenter / Montreal Gazette

The city of Montreal will be joining a legal challenge in Federal Court against Canada Post’s plan to phase out door-to-door mail delivery before 2019, said Mayor Denis Coderre.

Coderre said he will also be tabling a resolution to the agglomeration council of Montreal demanding that the federal government establish a moratorium on community mailboxes in Montreal.
The legal challenge — launched back in November by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and a number of other groups — hopes to see Canada Post’s plan be declared a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The mayor made the announcement Thursday along with Sud-Ouest borough mayor Benoit Dorais, Westmount Mayor Peter Trent, and Union des municipalités du Québec president Suzanne Roy, among others.
“We want to send a clear message to the federal government and to Canada Post that home mail delivery is an essential service for our citizens,” he said.
Coderre called Canada Post’s approach unilateral, disgusting, cheap and grotesque.
“Rather than conducting consultations, Canada Post is going from one borough to another, or from one city to another, in its effort to divide and conquer,” he said, alluding to community mailboxes already being installed in Kirkland, Lachine, Pierrefonds and Île-Bizard. “And they’re doing so with a total lack of transparency, complete lack of public consultations, and sheer disrespect for citizens and their needs.”
The mayor pushed for a response from federal party leaders on whether or not a moratorium will be established.
“I want to know what all of the party leaders in Ottawa think of the word moratorium,” he said. “Not the word pause, not ‘we’ll think about it.’ I want to hear if they are in favour or not of a moratorium.”
Dorais, who’s chairing a consultation committee on the matter, said that it would take 50,000 community mailboxes in 15,000 different locations to serve the 700,000 houses of the Montreal agglomeration.
“That represents around 25 kilometres of community mailboxes put side by side,” he said. “That seems worrisome, and impossible that it wouldn’t have an impact on the public.”
Trent added that he thinks it’s clear Canada Post has not figured out how the plan would actually work in Montreal or Westmount.
“They’ve adopted a very interesting strategy of starting with the outskirts, beyond the suburbs, to slowly eat their way toward the centre of the island of Montreal,” he said.
“Why? Because they can’t tell us how they’re going to do it.”