Mayor Carol Leclerc says the announcement of Canada Post’s cost-saving end to door-to-door delivery as of next year came as a surprise when its officials requested a private meeting at the recent Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention in Edmonton.
“I had no idea that this was coming,” said Leclerc, who in April had signed a letter on behalf of city council asking Canada Post to send a representative to a council meeting to explain the impacts.
The letter sprang from a request by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers which is trying to preserve approximately 8,000 jobs across the country that are scheduled to be phased out as workers retire.
But at the meeting with Canada Post officials at the Edmonton convention, the topic was not arranging a local representative to come present in Terrace, it was instead the announcement that service would be ending.
Leclerc also said that council supported the postal union position and was expecting more discussion.
But Canada Post officials made it clear the union CUPW wasn’t about to derail their cost-saving plans, according to the mayor.
“I was expecting them to give their side of the story about the CUPW letter. So that’s why I was quite surprised, I had my head in a different area.”
But Leclerc said she thinks the changes are necessary for a company that has gone from being the number one conveyor of letters to a predominantly parcel service. “I am pleased that nobody is losing a job over it. I think it will bring neighbours together. I understand the need to modernize. I appreciate that Canada Post is ensuring feedback is available, that they are doing a survey.”
Canada Post is saying it will reduce its workforce by not hiring replacements as people leave or retire.
Skeena–Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen says he’s opposed to the end of door-to-door service.
“I believe that we should be looking for best practices and examples in other countries who have successfully maintained their home delivery. There are many ways that Canada Post could innovate, become more dynamic, and even increase its revenues, all while maintaining the proud service it has offered to Canadians since day one,” said Cullen.
Canada Post has 41 employees in Terrace, including part time and casual people. Included on its local payroll are what it calls 23 delivery agents on full and part time delivery routes with seven people designated as relief carriers.
The exact number of jobs to be eliminated in Terrace isn’t yet known.
In all, Canada Post delivers to approximately 8,200 addresses in Terrace, Thornhill and area either door-to-door in built up areas, by community mailboxes in newer subdivisions or to community-style mailboxes in rural areas.
Of those 8,200 addresses, 5,390 are now on door-to-door routes which will be eliminated next year.
Canada Post has said it will provide door-to-door service for people who are physically unable to get to a community mailbox.
But that hasn’t stalled pushback from some municipalities and advocacy groups, including a federal lawsuit which has been launched by the postal worker’s union with support from various groups representing retired and handicapped citizens.