• John Jantak

Local NDP candidates committed to reinstating door-to-door mail delivery


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Canada Post community mailboxes in a newer section of Forest Avenue in Pincourt on May 26. The NDP said they will discontinue plans by Canada Post to eliminate door-to-door mail delivery and will reinstate the service in all communities that had door-to-door delivery when the

cuts were announced in December 2013.

All three regional New Democratic Party (NDP) candidates running in the upcoming federal election have voiced their support to stop Canada Post’s ongoing plan to eliminate door-to-door mail delivery and will reinstate delivery in all communities already affected by the cuts announced in December 2013. Jamie Nicholls, Member of Parliament (MP) for Vaudreuil-Soulanges; Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe, MP for Pierrefonds-Dollard; and Ryan Young, the recently elected NDP candidate for Lac-St. Louis and municipal councillor for Ste. Anne de Bellevue, all said that continuing door-to-door service was essential for their constituents, particularly for seniors and people with limited mobility.

For Nicholls, the geographic makeup of his riding area includes several mostly rural agricultural communities that rely on regular daily mail delivery to their homes and that the installation of community mailboxes in centralized locations could result in residents having to travel several kilometers to get their mail. “There a lot of people with mobility issues that will be affected if the door-to-door service is taken away,” Nicholls told Your Local Journal.

“People who receive door-to-door delivery now should be able to maintain it. We have to find a way to deal with seniors and people with mobility issues. “There’s a big difference between going to the end of a driveway to pick up the mail and getting into a car to go somewhere to pick it up,” Nicholls added. “During the winter especially, it’ll definitely be hard for people get their mail. We want to make sure that especially in the rural areas, people can still get their mail in their mailboxes.” While the riding of Pierrefonds- Dollard is more urban, Blanchette- Lamothe is also concerned about the negative impact the mail delivery cuts will have, especially during the winter months when access to community mailboxes could be impacted by treacherous icy sidewalks and snow drifts.

“We have to listen to the people who will be affected by these cuts,” said Blanchette-Lamothe. “I sent surveys by mail, I’ve held open public forums, and I’ve gone door-to-door getting people to sign a petition asking for the government to stop the cuts to mail service.” Last spring, A l e x a n d r e Boulerice, NDP MP for Rosemont– La Petite-Patrie and critic for matters concerning Canada Post, held two public information sessions in Vaudreuil-Dorion and Pierrefonds-Roxboro to tell attendees the cuts were unnecessary and would cause undue hardships for certain segments of the population.

“The government told us from the start that the decision to end home mail delivery is a financial one, but this is not true. Last year, Canada Post made $200 million in net profits. Let’s put ideology aside and provide the services that Canadians rely on,” said Boulerice. For Young, the cuts mean that instead of progressing forward, the country was moving backwards especially considering that Canada will become the only G7 nation that will not have door-to-door mail service.

He said that residents in the north sector of Ste. Anne will not be affected by the proposed change if the NDP wins the next election since they’ve had to rely on community mailboxes as the area was developed several years ago, but it’s imperative that regular mail delivery continue in the densely populated south sector.

“It’s very important,” said Young. “In the south, it’s expected and rightly so because the mail is an essential service. Many elderly people don’t use the internet so I don’t buy the argument about people not using mail. There’s also very little room to put in community mailboxes in the village, virtually none, yet Canada Post is obligating municipalities to put in

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