Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Hamilton loses bid to rein in CMBs

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Community mailboxes (CMBs) have become a hot point of contention in Kitchissippi as the first phase of rollout is underway. Several postal walks have seen pads installed this week and last.

I've been clear in my opposition to CMBs in the urban core since last spring. This May, I and colleague Catherine McKenney participated in a public forum to express our concerns. The loss of greenspace in neighbourhoods not designed to accomodate CMBs and the increased workload and cost to municipalities are particularly concerning.

For several months, my office has put in hours working with residents who have received notices that CMBs are being installed, advocating on their behalf with Canada Post for alternate locations, with only very limited success. I want to thank those residents who have called us - in nearly every case, peple have been thoughtful and constructive in their suggestions.

Yesterday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Alan Whitten confirmed that Canada Post has the power to control where CMBs are placed. An excellent CBC article explains the decision at The case revolved around Hamilton's efforts to institute a by-law giving it some control over where CMBs are placed.

This is a disappointing decision. In its wake, we are left working within the status quo. As has been publicized, there is a swath of our ward now being converted to CMBs, with more to come. We do not know which geography is next. We will be notified when the Corporation is ready to send notices to the residents immediately in the vicinity of a proposed box, including a contact number for providing feedback. A few weeks later, the broader community will be notified, again with an opportunity to provide feedback directly to Canada Post.

Rest assured that my office will continue to advocate on residents' behalf with Canada Post when there are constructive suggestions made for alternatives that offer improved safety or other considerations. And, I will continue working with the community and others as we seek to hit reset on the conversion plan.

Posted June 12, 2015