Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Victoria hopes Canada Post changes won’t be C.O.D.

Victoria council wants to make sure Canada Post’s shift from home delivery to community mailboxes does not result in additional costs being downloaded onto the city. “It’s a big change for urban people,” said Coun.
mailbox.jpg
At Coun. Marianne Alto’s suggestion, Victoria councillors have asked city staff to examine the experience of other municipalities and report back on best practices in implementing, managing, and minimizing costs arising from the new community mailbox system, and to work with Canada Post on the best methods to mitigate start-up and continuing costs to the city.

Victoria council wants to make sure Canada Post’s shift from home delivery to community mailboxes does not result in additional costs being downloaded onto the city.

“It’s a big change for urban people,” said Coun. Marianne Alto, who has met twice with Canada Post representatives about the coming changes.

“I know to a certain extent, it seems this has happened in rural areas for years, so perhaps this is a bit of an urban surprise more than anything.”

At Alto’s suggestion, councillors have asked city staff to examine the experience of other municipalities and report back on best practices in implementing, managing, and minimizing costs arising from the new community mailbox system, and to work with Canada Post on the best methods to mitigate start-up and continuing costs to the city.

Alto said there are a number of issues surrounding the change that should be addressed.

“At this point, I don’t think there’s anything much that can be done to stop Canada Post,” she said. “It seems to have the support of the federal government and, whether you agree with it or not, the reality from a municipal perspective now is to ensure the costs associated with this are not unfairly downloaded onto the municipality.”

Canada Post announced in November plans to phase out home delivery to about 18,000 capital region households beginning this year.

The first postal codes to be converted begin with V9A, V9B and V9C.

The affected homes are in Victoria West, Langford, Colwood, Saanich, Esquimalt, View Royal and the Songhees First Nation.

The entire country is expected to be on the community-box system within five years.

Canada Post spokeswoman Anick Losier said a number of criteria are used to determine the best location for the community boxes, including proximity to sidewalks, lighting and a centralized location.

Cities have been promised input into the location of the boxes, but Alto notes that the final decision is up to the Crown corporation.

Canada Post has been in touch with municipalities and conducted surveys to determine best locations, Losier said. “Overwhelmingly, people have said they want it close to home, where they can walk to it.”

Alto said the city has made it clear that it is not interested in seeing the boxes located in public places such as parks.

Alto said there will be costs in both establishing the community mailboxes and with their ongoing maintenance, and believes there hasn’t been enough consideration of the effect on municipalities involved.

“Canada Post asserts it’s going to take responsibility for all this, but let’s be practical — the municipality will step up when that doesn’t happen.”

bcleverley@timescolonist.com

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks