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Canadians with Disabilities Concerned About Privatizing Mail Delivery

  • Date : 2014-11-05
  • Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) : www.ccdonline.ca
  • Synopsis : Government of Canada has charged Canada Post with responsibility of delivering mail to Canadians, including people with disabilities.

Main Document

The Government of Canada has charged Canada Post with the responsibility of delivering mail to Canadians, including people with disabilities.

An accessible and inclusive Canada is the goal of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD); accessible postal service is an integral component of a barrier-free Canada.

The Government of Canada has charged Canada Post with the responsibility of delivering mail to Canadians, including people with disabilities.

In VIA Rail v. Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) spoke out against the creation of new barriers that prevent people with disabilities using services available to the public.

In light of the SCC's stand against new barriers, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) is monitoring how Canada Post rolls out its new service model to ascertain whether or not it is meeting the standard of access set by Canada's highest court. In addition, CCD has also been sharing ideas with Canada Post on how to make its service accessible and inclusive. For example, CCD has proposed that Canada Post continue door-to-door delivery but to reduce the service from daily to every other day.

The emergence of concierge services in mail delivery industry, such a You Have Mail, which for a fee picks-up and delivers a householders mail from Canada Post, does not lessen Canada Post's responsibility to ensure that its services are barrier-free and usable by Canadians with disabilities.

"Canadians should not have to pay for mail delivery," said Tony Dolan Chair of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. "Privatization is not the answer to Canada Post's decision to end home delivery, and it is certainly not the answer for people with disabilities who disproportionately live in poverty," said Dolan.

"Canada Post has an obligation to get mail to citizens and that they must find ways of ensuring accessible mail delivery" said Carlos Sosa a member of CCD Board of Directors. "Canada Post's ending of door to door service will create new barriers and hardship for many people with disabilities," said Sosa.

This week more Canadians will be losing door-to-door mail delivery.

Like other Canadians, people with disabilities will be looking for their mail at a community mailbox. "Hopefully, only their mail will be waiting for them and not barriers which prevent them from using the mailbox in an accessible and dignified manner," stated Tony Dolan, CCD Chairperson.

CCD has been drawing Canada Post's attention to barriers (weather conditions, positioning of a box, design limitations) that may make it difficult or impossible for some people with disabilities to access a community mailbox. Canada Post has a legal obligation to accommodate people with disabilities who will not be able to use the community mailbox in a dignified manner.

CCD has shared with Canada Post strategies for maintaining a barrier-free postal service. "CCD has recommended that Canada Post continue door-to-door delivery but reduce the number of days per week that the service is offered," states Dolan.



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