Publisacs shouldn't be delivered to everyone automatically, commission says
A Publisac collection of advertising flyers hangs on a mailbox in Montreal.
MONTREAL -- Pamphlets and flyers like the Publisac should only be delivered to those who ask for them, according to recommendations by Montreal's Commission on water, environment, sustainable development and parks.
Montreal legislators on Thursday accepted a report from the commission but will have six months to decide whether to accept the report's recommendations.
The environmental cost of widespread distribution of Publisac is too high, the commission said. If Montreal wants to play a leadership role in the fight against climate change, the Plante administration should adopt an "opt-in" policy.
The city should also eliminate plastic packaging for newspapers and magazines like the Publisac for those who still want to receive them.
But the owners of Publisac said if people have to opt-in to receive it, the flyer can't survive.
"If you go with an opt-in, that's the end of the Publisac," said Francois Olivier, President and CEO of Transcontinental, the company that distributes the flyers.
Publisac stimulates economic activity, the company said on its website. It is also "an effective marketing vehicle for retailers and a relevant pre-shopping tool for consumers."
The company pointed to a report earlier this week that predicted the average Canadian family's grocery bill would increase almost $500 in 2020. Shoppers who save money with coupons save up to $1500 annually, they said.
Montrealers can already opt-out from receiving the Publisac on their website, the company added.
Earlier this Fall, Mirabel halted the delivery of Publisacs, among other flyers, but Transcontinental is challenging that decision in court.
Charles Montpetit launched a petition that garnered over 15,000 signatures kicked off the hearings into the future of flyers. He insisted on Thursday he didn't want to see Publisac disappear.
"We're talking about wastage," he said. "Not about eliminating their product."
With files from CTV Montreal's Kelly Greig and the Canadian Press.