05/21/2015 11:59 EDT | Updated 05/21/2016 05:59 EDT

NDP pledge to keep Canada Post door-to-door mail delivery

The NDP have made an election pledge to not only stop, but reverse, Canada Post's plan to phase out urban door-to-door mail delivery — and they expect Canada Post to pay for it.

MP David Christopherson announced in Hamilton on Thursday that a federal NDP government would scrap the plan and look at other alternatives. He's not sure what those are yet, he said. But Canada is the only Commonwealth country taking the drastic step of eliminating door-to-door delivery.

As for the hundreds of super mailboxes already installed through the plan, he said, Canada Post would have to remove them on its own dime.

Canada Post launched a controversial plan last year to eliminate most urban door-to-door delivery in favour of community mailboxes. Profits are dwindling because of the decrease in mail, the corporation says, so it's time to adjust.

Hamilton has been ground zero for municipal protest. The city will face off with the corporation in court next week over a new bylaw that aims to dictate where Canada Post can put the mailboxes on municipal roadsides. It also imposes a $200 fee per mailbox. Canada Post says its federal mandate to deliver the mail trumps municipal bylaws.

Christopherson, Hamilton Centre MP, says an NDP majority government would encourage Canada Post to look at how other countries have dealt with changing consumer tastes.

"People are offended that part of what they consider to be living in a Canadian city has been taken away from them," he said.

The Liberals have long called for a moratorium to the Canada Post changes, including phasing out door-to-door delivery, said Cameron Ahmad, a party spokesperson. 

"The government must instruct Canada Post to reconsider its options," he said. "We oppose the current plan that cuts services and increases costs for individuals and small businesses."

CBC is also pursuing comment from the Conservative party.