Home Care Interview Global TV September 2, 2014

No date set yet for end of home delivery in Metro September 18, 2014 Times & Transcript

Mail Canada Post said no one currently on the job will lose their position as a result of home delivery drop

Eric Lewis  Times & Transcript
   Canada Post does not have a time-line in place for when New Brunswickers can expect to lose home delivery of their mail, but the corporation said door-to-door delivery is absolutely coming to an end within the next five years.  

The corporation has started eliminating door-to-door mail service across the country. The change will affect the five million addresses that still get door-to-door delivery out of the 15.5 million that receive mail from Canada Post.    The change was announced in December.    

 “The reason that we had to make this change is that people are using the postal service differently,” Canada Post spokesperson Anick Losier said yesterday.“And door-to-door delivery is three times the cost of delivering to a community mailbox.”    She said the average annual cost of home delivery per home is $298. The annual cost of delivering to community mailboxes is $113.  

   “As we were a business built to deliver and process letters, when your main product, your bread and butter, is declining very rapidly – and we’ve seen about a billion less letters in the last six years – we’ve needed to make some changes to the business model,” she said.
     Losier said Canada Post expects about $500 million in annual savings once the program is fully implemented and costs have been covered.    She said for residents in urban areas like Metro Moncton, where home delivery has been the norm for decades, it will be a big change.  

But other regions of New Brunswick won’t notice a difference. Losier is from Tracadie, where her family never had home delivery.    Riverview resident John Melanson attended an information session on Tuesday hosted by the Moncton Local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.    He isn’t keen to lose home delivery.    “We’ve got lots of seniors here (in Riverview),” he said. Melanson has a relative in Nova Scotia who now has to cross a highway to get to her community mailbox, something he feels isn’t safe.  

  Moncton resident Kate Doyle doesn’t mind the idea of having to walk to a community mailbox.    “It’ll be a slight hassle but really not the end of the world,” she said. “I say that as someone who is mobile. I realize it won’t be as easy for those with limited mobility.”    Emilee Layden-Poirier, a Riverview resident, said she had to retrieve her mail from the post office when she lived in Dalhousie.    

 “It was closed Sunday and closed around 5 p.m. during the week,” she said. “It was nice to see community members there in and out, and chat to the couple people who ran it … it was mildly inconvenient when I wanted to check my box and realized it was past 5 p.m. on a Friday and I would have to wait until Monday.”  

 The postal workers union is upset about the changes Canada Post is making, which it believes could lead to the elimination of 75 jobs in Moncton and up to 300 across New Brunswick.    But Canada Post’s Losier said no one currently working for the mail service will lose their jobs.  

 “No one is losing their jobs because we have an attrition rate that is almost twice as much of what we would reduce our work force (by),” she said.    Losier said about 10,000 to 15,000 Canada Post employees are expected to be leaving the company in the next five years, while the reduction in jobs due to the home delivery cuts would be 6,000 to 8,000 positions.  

  “We’re still going to be hiring,” she said. “And it surprises people when I say that, but we are hiring right now.”    Losier said there is no set date for when the changes will be implemented in Metro Moncton or New Brunswick It has started in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Winnipeg and other regions, with about 100,000 addresses losing home delivery in 2014.  

 Once Canada Post has decided to launch the process in Moncton, local elected officials will be informed how it will affect the community. Canada Post employees will be notified how they will be affected, and an information kit will be sent to affected residents, inviting them to take part in online survey about community mailboxes where they can express their concerns and have a hand in determining where their mailboxes will be located.    Once the consultation process is complete and Canada Post works with local urban planners, the location of mailboxes will be decided and keys will be issued.    

 Losier said there is no minimum or maximum distance set for how far a community mailbox can be located from a home. Canada Post will work with individuals who may have mobility issues or other health concerns to find alternatives if they aren’t able to retrieve their mail.    She said the boxes now being used by the mail service are larger than what Metro Monctonians are used to seeing so they can better accommodate larger packages and other mail.