WATCH: Home mail delivery ended for tens of thousands of Canadians in urban areas. It’s a way to cut costs, but many think it comes at too high a price. Reid Feist reports.
Canada Post has begun implementing a controversial plan to phase out home delivery over the next several years.
About a dozen neighbourhoods across the country have had home delivery service cancelled effective Monday, including parts of Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg and the Toronto area (see full list below).
“In Calgary, it’s a couple of postal codes, in Ottawa it’s a couple of postal codes. In Winnipeg and so on,” Canada Post spokesperson Jon Hamilton said. “We tend to work our way in from the suburbs toward the urban cores.”
Roughly 100,000 homes will have home delivery ended this year, with three quarters of that total seeing service end today.
WATCH: What the changes to Canada Post’s home delivery could mean for you
Another million homes will have service phased out over 2015 as part of Canada Post’s five-year plan to end delivery and turn its money-losing operations around.
Canada Post moved about 1.2 billion fewer pieces of letter mail last year than it did in 2006, it says, or roughly 30 per cent less mail per household, according to Hamilton.
“It’s been a steady decline year over year and it’s not going to reverse itself,” he said. “We need to make changes to ensure we can maintain postal service.”
In December, the Crown corporation announced a sweeping five-year strategy to overhaul operations, a central facet being the elimination of home delivery in favour of community mailboxes.
Canada Post said the cost-saving move affects about a third of the 15 million addresses it serves, the rest already receiving community mailbox service (to apartments, condominiums, rural residents, etc).
The move will see between 6,000 and 8,000 mail delivery jobs cut largely through attrition, which generated backlash from the postal workers’ union.
Critics have also blasted the plan for putting elderly Canadians and those with mobility challenges at risk of not being able to get to their mail, or injury when venturing to community boxes to retrieve it.
Hamilton said Canada Post has worked diligently to ensure mail will continue to be delivered to all residents, with affected individuals advised to have mail redirected to caregivers, the post office or relatives.
For those who can’t find any alternative, Canada Post will deliver mail to the home every fifth day of the week, Hamilton said, for those who qualify.
“Our commitment from the beginning was to ensure that no one was left behind, that all Canadians would continue to have access to their postal service.”
Postal codes for the first communities and the approximate number of affected addresses are:
- T2B, T3J neighbourhoods, affecting 10,450 addresses
- Fort McMurray, Alta.
- T9H, T9J, T9K (8,450 addresses)
- R2P, R2V (12,500 addresses)
- K2K, K2L, K2M (7,900 addresses)
- Rosemère, Que.
- J7A (3,350 addresses)
- Lorraine, Que.
- J6Z (2,550 addresses)
- Bois-des-Filion, Que.
- J6Z (2,750 addresses)
- Charlemagne, Que.
- J5Z (1,300 addresses)
- Repentigny, Que.
- J5Y, J5Z, J6A (14,400 addresses)
- In Halifax, neighbourhoods in the Lower Sackville and Bedford areas
- B4A, B4B, B4C, B4E, B4G (9,950 addresses)
- Oakville, Ont.
- L6H, L6J, L6K, L6L, L6M (26,400 addresses. *Will cease getting service by mid-November)