Corp Comm Connects

Aurora puts Canada Post on hot seat over mailbox locations
July 16, 2015
By Teresa Latchford

Canada Post is willing to reconsider community mailbox installation sites if prompted by a complaint.

Canada Post managers Andrew Walasek and Isaac Ransom confirmed no site is final and that it would even be possible to shift or relocate the boxes after installation if there is a reasonable concern and alternative locations were suggested.

“If residents have a legitimate concern regarding the location of the boxes, we are willing to evaluate it and adjust,” Walasek said.

With councillors’ emails filling up with safety, litter and accessibility complaints and concerns from residents regarding locations of the boxes, Councillor Sandra Humpfryes asked if Canada Post would be willing to postpone full installation until all concerns had been addressed.

Walasek said he couldn’t make that call and pointed out the corporation has a deadline to meet.

Residents are scheduled to receive their keys to their new boxes between Aug. 17 and Sept. 4.

In the presentation, which comes three weeks before mailboxes are to be installed, one slide indicated a Canada Post representative visited homeowners with properties adjacent to mailbox installation sites.

Walasek said if three attempts to have face-to-face interaction failed, a door hanger with a phone number was left.

Long-time residents Carmela and Catherine Marchione refute the claim, saying they found out about the mailbox to be located at the side of their home on Bailey Crescent via a letter, not an in-person meeting.

“The CP rep says, plainly, it’s not on our property but I say that it’s encroaching on my property,” Carmela said. “It’s a lack of respect as far as I’m concerned, they didn’t even ask if we had any concerns.”

The Marchione family echoes complaints of other residents who aren’t happy with what they call a lack of consultation when selecting locations for community mailboxes.

“The majority of us aren’t happy with the way this whole thing has rolled out,” Councillor John Abel said. “And I’m skeptical that all of the concerns can be addressed in the remaining three weeks before installation is complete.”

He and the rest of the councillors plan to forward concerns they have received from residents directly to Walasek for review.

Walasek pointed out residents should be relaying all complaints to their toll free line where customer service representatives will do their best to help.

Councillor Harold Kim scoffed at the idea.

“I think through the whole process, (Canada Post) hasn’t represented the corporation well,” he added. “The service level they are providing falls below that of Rogers and Bell customer service representatives.”

While on the hot seat, Walasek admitted the process, in Aurora, specifically, could have been handled better and when asked if he had sent resident comments to council members as indicated on his PowerPoint presentation, he avoided the question.

“So, the answer is no then,” Mayor Geoff Dawe said after asking the question three times.

When asked if Canada Post will honour the town’s bylaw regarding the installation regulation and fees for utility equipment on municipal property, Walasek hoped further discussion would prevent the need to “go down the bylaw route”.