NEWS

GTA town to consider joining Hamilton's fight with Canada Post

05/05/2015 09:43 EDT | Updated 05/05/2016 05:59 EDT
A York Region town is looking at not only voicing support for Hamilton in its court battle against Canada Post's super mailboxes, but amending its bylaw to match.

A member of Aurora's town council, Tom Mrakas, says he'll bring forward a motion this month to change the town's bylaws to charge Canada Post a fee for each mailbox it installs.

Canada Post is phasing out urban door-to-door mail delivery across Canada. In April, the city of Hamilton — already on record as opposing the plan — amended a bylaw so the corporation is charged $200 and needs city consultation for every mailbox it places on municipal land.

Canada Post, for its part, says federal laws trump municipal ones. It has no plans to stop installing mailboxes, it says. Both sides have filed court applications, which will be heard in superior court in Hamilton the week of May 25.

Mrakas says he thought the town had no control over the situation, but was inspired when he saw the Hamilton fight.

"When I saw what Hamilton is doing, I thought 'Well, wait a second.'"

The community mailbox issue stems from a plan to phase out door-to-door delivery across the country, including 117,000 Hamilton homes over the next five years. In Hamilton, Canada Post is phasing out delivery to 36,000 homes on the Mountain this year, and has continued its mailbox installation despite the court action. Spokesperson Jon Hamilton says the corporation has consulted extensively with residents and municipalities.

Mrakas says he accepts that the plan to phase out door-to-door delivery will happen. It's a matter of the town being in control of its own right of ways.

"It's our property. We maintain it. We incur the costs for it," he said. "We should have that say of where these boxes go."

Mrakas will present a notice of motion on May 7, and the motion on May 12. He's willing to put town resources into the fight, he said. The only question is if his fellow councillors are.

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