03/31/2014 06:23 EDT | Updated 05/31/2014 05:59 EDT

Vancouver Park Board looks to block super mailboxes

Vancouver's Board of Parks and Recreation will look at blocking Canada Post from using park space for new community mailboxes.

Commissioner Constance Barnes is putting the motion forward at Monday night's meeting, saying she wants to let the Crown corporation know the boxes have no place on the city's green space.

"I bet you anything they're going to look at that little pocket park, and go 'There's a good spot for one of those boxes.'" Barnes told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

"What Park Board could do is make sure that the feds know ahead of time [that they] need to look for somewhere else."

Concerns about security, accessibility

Barnes opposes the switch from door-to-door delivery to the so-called superboxes, one of several controversial cost-cutting measures announced this past December.

She says she still isn't clear on how the community mailboxes will be lit, and how they will be protected from vandalism and theft. She rejected the idea that putting the mailboxes in parks may be the safest place for residents to access the superboxes.​

"The safest thing is to deliver it to their house. I remember through that sleet, the snow, the rain, the whatever, the post comes to your house. I think this is quite deplorable." 

She also worries people with mobility issues will have trouble getting their mail.

"I have concern for seniors, I have concern for people with disabilities, and I think at the Vancouver Park Board we're very aware of all of those issues with making sure that there's accessibility."

Barnes says there is still missing information when it comes to what the new mailboxes will look like, and how they will be phased in over the next five years. She says in densely populated areas, some of the boxes could take up a considerable amount of space.

"They're quite large, depending on what area you're in, and how many people. This is all about not delivering mail to single-dwelling families, so I've seen some that are up to a couple of hundred boxes per unit."

Cuts spark protests

The cuts to home delivery have sparked protests around the country. Barnes admits the Vancouver Park Board may not have the power to reverse the cuts on its own, but says it is important for her to add her voice to the opposition.

"There are times people get angry enough and you start to realize, we have got to rise up, we have got to do something."

If the motion is approved the public will have a chance to weigh in on whether it feels community mailboxes should be in parks or not.

"If the majority say, 'Yes, we want it in our parks,' then shame on me, but I have a gut feeling that's not going to be what we hear," said Barnes.