‘Keep your word’

Char­lot­te­town MP Sean Casey hopes gov­ern­ment ul­ti­mately de­cides to re­store home mail de­liv­ery

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE STE­WART

Char­lot­te­town MP Sean Casey hopes his gov­ern­ment keeps its prom­ise to re­store door-to-door mail de­liv­ery.

The dead­line for a de­ci­sion has come and gone with the fed­eral Lib­eral gov­ern­ment now say­ing it will an­nounce its de­ci­sion on mail de­liv­ery be­fore the end of the year.

“One of the con­cerns that I ex­pressed pub­licly, and I can re­peat to you, is that dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign we un­equiv­o­cally stated on page 34 of the plat­form that we will save home mail de­liv­ery,’’ Casey said on Tues­day.

“But the ques­tion of home mail de­liv­ery was one that was stud­ied by the (par­lia­men­tary) com­mit­tee. I also be­lieve when you make an un­equiv­o­cal com­mit­ment dur­ing a cam­paign and peo­ple vote for you based on that, you should keep your word.’’

Hay­ley Mager­mans, me­dia re­la­tions with Canada Post, said ev­ery­thing is on hold un­til a de­ci­sion is made.

“No con­ver­sions from doorto-door com­mu­nity mail­box de­liv­ery have taken place since Oc­to­ber 2015 given that the gov­ern­ment of Canada is cur­rently con­duct­ing a re­view of Canada Post,’’ Mager­mans said in an email to The Guardian. “The re­sults of the re­view are ex­pected by the end of the year.’’

Casey him­self tes­ti­fied be­fore the com­mit­tee. In to­tal, the com­mit­tee has more than 40 rec­om­men­da­tions to con­sider that look at all as­pects of the Crown cor­po­ra­tion, in­clud­ing home de­liv­ery.

One of the rec­om­men­da­tions is that any com­mu­nity mail­boxes that were in­stalled af­ter Aug. 2, 2015, should be de­com­mis­sioned and peo­ple who lost home mail de­liv­ery af­ter that date should have it re­in­stated.

“It is my hope that cabi­net will ac­cept that rec­om­men­da­tion,’’ Casey said.

Wil­liam White of Char­lot­te­town, who suc­cess­fully fought the lo­ca­tion of a com­mu­nity mail­box on his prop­erty, said he hopes some sort of com­pro­mise is reached.

White lives at the cor­ner of Ger­ald and Up­per Prince streets. The box was ini­tially set up on Ger­ald Street.

“From the be­gin­ning, it’s not that I was so dead against the com­mu­nity boxes, but I was against them be­ing put in places where there was no re­al­is­tic way to get to them,’’ White said. “If you put them on (Ger­ald) street, peo­ple are go­ing to get hurt and it’s not go­ing to work.’’

In White’s opin­ion, com­mu­nity boxes don’t be­long any­where in the city south of Allen Street.

“If you’re in a sub­di­vi­sion (or) in the coun­try where there is a place to pull off and get your mail, then fine.’’

There has been much writ­ten about the fact that the in­crease in par­cel mail isn’t off­set­ting the de­crease in let­ter mail. How­ever, Casey said there’s some­thing big­ger at play here.

“Should the postal ser­vice be looked upon as some­thing that must break even or should it be looked upon as a public ser­vice? In my view, that’s where we need to be. I would ar­gue that it is part of the fab­ric of our coun­try.’’

DAVE STE­WART/THE GUARDIAN

Wil­liam White, who lives at the cor­ner of Up­per Prince Street and Ger­ald Street in Char­lot­te­town, suc­cess­fully fought Canada Post’s ef­forts to leave a com­mu­nity mail­box on the Ger­ald Street part of his prop­erty. White said com­mu­nity mail­boxes sim­ply don’t be­long in the down­town.

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