HALIFAX – If you don’t already pick up your mail from a community mailbox, you just may never have to.
In anticipation of the the new Trudeau Liberal government acting on its election promise to scrap the move away from door-to-door mail delivery, Canada Post has suspended the installation of community mailboxes.
The move means nearly half a million households that were to be converted will keep their current mail service for now.
All customers who already use community mailboxes will continue to use them for the time being.
The letter carriers union welcomes the news of the suspension the community mail box program, and hopes door-to-door service will be reinstated.
“We’re cautiously optimistic obviously,” said George Nickerson, the Coordinator for Save Canada Post in Atlantic Canada.
“We want to make sure that not only do they stop the cuts like they have said, but actually reverse them.”
One Fairview resident told Global News that 20 years ago when he moved there they had community boxes. But ten years ago Canada Post started home delivery. Then in August, service went back to the community boxes.
Fairview is just one of several areas in Halifax to have community mail boxes installed in the past two months. Nickerson hopes these areas will get home delivery again.
“I couldn’t understand why we had mail delivery taken away in the first place because we maybe don’t need mail delivery five days a week,” says Barbara Holland, who lives on Birkdale Crescent in Fairview. “We may need mail delivery three days a week and if they decide to bring back mail delivery to Birkdale Crescent I will be very happy, moreso even for some elderly people than myself.”
David Frevola has been a letter carrier for 37 years, but his hours have increased dramatically since the community mail boxes were installed.
“I’ve gone from a normal eight hour work day to a minimum of ten hours and up to fourteen hours just to complete the route,” Frevola told Global News. “Canada Post has basically turned three mail routes into one mail route.”
Many customers are happy the community box program has been suspended. “Loving it,” said Robert Hall, another Birkdale Crescent resident. “That will put more postal workers back to work.”
Molly Rechnitzer lives near the community box and enjoys getting out, but she says that will likely change in the winter.
“They can’t even clear a passage,” Rechnitzer said. “Then of course the locks will freeze. I am 79-years-old and I don’t want to fall.”
Frevola told Rechnitzer if home delivery is reinstated on this street, the boxes can be used to replace aging rural boxes.