Transition to Community Mailboxes
Our office is hearing many concerns about Canada Post's conversion to community mailboxes. We are forwarding all concerns to the Canada Post Director of Municipal Affairs. The city of Edmonton has no authority over this matter. But read on and find out how we are willing to help.
As Canada Post adapts to the information age, they are making some changes to the way they operate. One change is the installation of community mailboxes as opposed to door-to-door delivery. These mailboxes were planned into many of Edmonton’s newer neighbourhoods, but now Canada Post has initiated the process of incorporating the boxes into mature neighbourhoods, starting in south Edmonton.
Canada Post began the public process of shifting to community mailboxes last year, by mailing surveys to ask residents whether they would prefer larger boxes further apart, or smaller boxes in higher numbers. According to Canada Post, the majority of people voted for smaller boxes. A number of weeks later, some residents received notices from Canada Post that their property, or a property near theirs, had been selected as a location for a community mailbox.
I’ve heard from a number of residents that both the consultation process and the selected locations for the boxes are unsatisfactory. I appreciate getting this feedback - I know how important accessibility and safety are to neighbourhoods, and these community mailboxes do present some challenges in that regard.
Canada Post exists as a federal, arm's-length corporation incorporated under the Canada Post Act. Their relationship to the federal government is much like that of the Edmonton Police Service to the City - the City can offer suggestions or guidelines, but doesn’t have the authority to directly control any of their decisions. What this means is that not even the federal government, let alone City Council, can tell Canada Post where they can or cannot put these community mailboxes.
Prior to the public consultation, the City met with Canada Post to discuss the installation of community mailboxes. We provided them with a set of guidelines for what the City would view as the ideal criteria for installation, but due to Canada Post’s federally legislated power, the City has no ability to hold Canada Post to those guidelines.
The Next Steps
My office has developed a process to help residents connect with Canada Post.
First, I would request that you call Canada Post's customer service centre at 1-844-454-3009 so your conversation with them can be properly tracked and you can be provided with a reference number. If you feel as though your concerns have not been properly heard after your conversation with Canada Post, email email@example.com with the following information:
Your postal code
Your specific concerns with the location of the community mailbox
- The reference number from your conversation with Canada Post's Customer Service Centre
Your consent to forward your personal information
From there, my office will forward your information to the Director of Municipal Affairs at Canada Post to have you put in touch with a Canada Post supervisor. The supervisors have more options and information to help with concerns about mailbox locations. This is the extent of our power on this issue - I don’t have the authority to force Canada Post to move mailbox locations.
In the coming weeks, city staff and I will be meeting with Canada Post officials to how their processes could be improved. This may or may not resolve things for residents who have already received notification about their mailboxes, but it might lead to better processes and consultation for installations in the future. In the meantime, please feel free to keep sending me your concerns and I will do my best to connect you with someone at Canada Post.