Canada Post outlines approach for converting to community mailboxes

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Canada Post today released guiding principles that will govern its approach to converting the remaining five million addresses with delivery at their door to community mailbox delivery over the next five years.

Canada Post is committed to ensuring that the transition of delivery service in Canadian communities will be handled responsibly and with respect towards customers and municipalities. The principles are:

- Canada Post recognizes that dense urban cores in our larger cities, with their older neighbourhoods and smaller lots, present different challenges for locating community mailboxes than suburban areas. Accordingly, Canada Post will leave the majority of these areas until the final stage of this multi-year project. The postal service will take the necessary time to understand their unique needs and find solutions that work for these neighbourhoods.

- Canada Post will be sensitive to the needs of seniors and of disabled Canadians. - Canada Post is developing alternative approaches for people with significant mobility challenges, who lack viable alternatives and upon whom delivery to a community mailbox would impose an unacceptable hardship.

- There will be no change in delivery to people living in apartment buildings, seniors' buildings and condominiums who already have mail delivered in the building lobby. In addition, customers who have mail delivered to a rural mailbox (a customer-owned mailbox at the end of a driveway) will not be affected by this change.

- The postal service will work with community leaders and municipal planning officials to choose safe and appropriate sites.

- Canada Post will seek the views of affected citizens directly, through multiple channels including direct mail surveys and online feedback tools.

- The Crown corporation will be as innovative and flexible as possible, while fulfilling its responsibility to protect the financial sustainability of postal service for all Canadians. It will look at various solutions and different equipment, taking the necessary time to address any significant challenges in a given community.

- Canada Post will respect the needs of businesses to have mail delivered to their door. The vast majority of business addresses will continue to have mail and parcels delivered to their door and will experience no change. The businesses that will continue to have delivery to the door:

- are located in well-established business areas, such as main streets or "business corridors"

- or receive a relatively large volume of mail or parcels.

Canada Post is committed to keeping Canadians informed and to implementing the conversion to community mailbox delivery in a thoughtful way.

The conversion of delivery at the door to community mailbox delivery will have no impact on the two thirds of Canadian households that already receive their mail and parcels through community mailboxes, grouped or lobby mailboxes or rural mailboxes. Community mailboxes offer individually locked mail and small packet compartments as well as locked compartments for securely receiving parcels. The initial neighbourhoods slated for conversion in the second half of 2014 will be announced in the coming weeks once plans are finalized.

Converting the remaining five million Canadian households that receive mail delivery to the door to community mailbox delivery was announced in December 2013 as part of Canada Post's Five-point Action Plan. Together, the initiatives announced in this plan will protect Canada's postal service for future generations. Ignoring Canada's massive shift away from mail to digital alternatives would put Canada Post on track for substantial yearly losses that would threaten the existence of the postal service.

The conversion will provide significant savings to Canada Post by allowing it to hire only those delivery employees it needs to replace departing employees during a wave of retirements. Canada Post expects nearly 15,000 employees to retire or leave the company over the next five years. This is more than enough to allow for the reduction of between 6,000 and 8,000 positions, mainly through attrition.

Organizations: Canada Post

Geographic location: Canada

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