Montreal mayor destroys concrete poured for Canada Post mailbox
Published Thursday, August 13, 2015 12:19PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 13, 2015 7:06PM EDT
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre brought in a backhoe and a jackhammer to get rid of the beginnings of a community mailbox in a Pierrefonds park Thursday.
Coderre and other Quebec mayors said Thursday they aren’t happy with the way Canada Post is handling the discontinuation of door-to-door mail delivery, especially when it comes to setting up community mailboxes in neighbourhoods and determining who gets to use them.
A backhoe operator rolled into l’Anse a l’Orme Nature Park around 4 p.m. Thursday and began removing a concrete footing for a mailbox. Coderre then showed up with a jackhammer and chipped away at some remaining blocks on the ground.
“I’m coming here and I’m witnessing that they put that concrete and they will put up some boxes without any consultation, and they have the arrogance to send a note to say that ‘Oh, if you want to do something about it, we’ll talk together and discuss.’ That’s B.S. to me,” he said.
Coderre said Canada Post poured the concrete without asking the city and without any permits being issued by the borough of Pierrefonds.
The mayors say they want to make the removal of home delivery an issue in the 2015 federal election. Westmount Mayor Peter Trent said the end of home delivery by Canada Post is unconstitutional.
"The campaign allows Canada Post to do whatever it wants," he said, even though cities have made it very clear "we don't want [the mailboxes]."
Earlier in the day, Coderre said the Crown corporation's claims of consulting and informing the public have been nothing but a sham, pointing to locations in Montreal where Canada Post has started installing concrete footings for mailboxes without informing anyone.
"When they were saying that they were consulting. Hello? Anybody home? They're doing what they want. Savagely. And they're arrogant," he said.
Canada Post responded to the complaints made by the mayors with a written statement.
"We are always willing to work with municipalities to find the best locations and discuss any concerns," it says. "We would be happy to discuss any suggestions they may have for alternative locations."
Coderre said he is ready to battle and will do so, starting with the slab in the Pierrefonds park.
"You want to have a fight? Enjoy yourself. I'm a fighter and a lover. I can do both. But clearly I'm there to respect our citizens, and I'm from the federal level. We can play with the jurisdiction as long as we will.
"But I know one thing. This is services to the people. I think it's wrong the way that they're acting, and that's another concrete example."
The dispute over community mailboxes has been going on since they were announced.
In addition to asking for a moratorium on the installation -- a request that has been ignored by Canada Post -- the mayors of Laval, Longueuil, Montreal and other cites have sought intervenor status in a class-action lawsuit to stop community mailboxes.
Canada Post claims only one-third of Canadians receive mail directly at their home, but figure is misleading since an additional 30 per cent of Canadians who live in apartments have mail delivered directly to their building.