Canada Post admits if residents want their home mail deliveries to continue, they better have a doctor’s note ready.
That’s the latest development being revealed about how the crown corporation plans to curb “unacceptable hardship” to seniors and disabled Canadians who are not able to access community mailboxes themselves.
“What we heard loud and clear from them was that especially when it comes to the type of service we deliver, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution,” Canada Post spokesperson Jon Hamilton told CBC News.
According to documents obtained by QMI Agency, residents who have already alerted Canada Post of potential issues in accessing their future mail will be asked to complete forms to evaluate how their disability “affects their ability to get to the community mailbox.”
They will also be asked to provide a phone number so officials can verify a person’s case.
“Everybody’s going to have a different set of circumstances and we want to work with each individual,” said Hamilton to The Globe and Mail, acknowledging the range of customized delivery solutions that may have to be deployed.
Once the community mailbox program is implemented, Canada Post hopes the initiative will eventually save $400-$500 million in operational costs annually.
Predictably, the decision to modernize Canada’s fledging mail delivery system has also sparked public and political outcry. A 2013 Angus Reid poll found 73 per cent of those who currently receive door-to-door delivery opposed Canada Post’s decision to end it.
Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra defended the upcoming changes before a Commons transport committee meeting in December, suggesting surveyed seniors welcomed the idea of community mailboxes because it would give them more exercise.
“The citizens and the seniors I spoke to, they want to be active. They want to be living fuller lives,” Chopra said at the time.
Chopra’s statement attracted criticism from Liberal MP David McGuinty who dubbed Canada Post’s changes as “mail Participaction,” referring to the non-profit group devoted to championing fitness and active lifestyles.
Eleven communities in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia will be among the first to receive new community mailbox deliveries this fall.
Last year, Canada Post announced its plan to phase out door-to-door deliveries within the next five years. The move is meant to alleviate mounting operational costs amid lower volumes of mail being delivered year after year.
In 2013, the crown corporation reported an operating loss of $269 million, delivering 191 million fewer pieces of domestic mail than it did the previous year. It was the seventh year in a row that mail volumes declined.
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