Postal program freeze a relief for Oak Bay

Canada Post has suspended its program to convert door-to-door mail delivery to community mailboxes

To the relief of Oak Bay residents, Canada Post suspended its program to convert door-to-door mail delivery to community mailboxes. But that freeze leaves questions for neighbouring communities.

The Crown corporation announced Monday (Oct. 26) it’s “temporarily suspending” deployment pending discussions with the incoming government “to determine the best path forward given the ongoing challenges faced by the Canadian postal system.”

“It’s welcome news. One of the concerns I know council and many of our residents had was this was being done without consultation with communities such as ours,” said Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen. While the municipal council hadn’t been approached yet, they heard rumblings the community mailbox program was “rolling in.”

“Now that things are on hold it would provide an opportunity to engage Canada Post. If they want to continue with the program, one of the things we have continually requested is our community be consulted about the impact it has on us here,” Jensen said.

Top considerations for Oak Bay include placement and criteria for determining ideal locations.

“Canada Post didn’t come to the table during our official community plan review … we’ll want to go back to that plan to see the imposition of these super mailboxes would impact our streetscapes, which we’ve heard from our residents is really important to our neighbourhoods,” Jensen said.

Effect on the streetscapes, traffic and garbage continue to be high priorities if the program gets a restart.

“There’s also a concern for safety. Where would these be placed so as not to be safety hazards from a traffic point of view and a pedestrian point of view?” Jensen said.

Canada Post said it was attempting to put the program on hold in an “orderly fashion” for the roughly 460,000 addresses across the country currently in the process of converting to community mailboxes.

“The announcement is one I welcome. That they’re going to suspend the program … is good news for Oak Bay, Fairfield and James Bay,” said MLA Murray Rankin. “It’s the other ones that are mid-way through the process like Vic West that I’m worried about.”

“I agree it’s good news. The Liberals and NDP are aligned that this is a misguided policy by Canada Post.”

Canada Post said in neighbourhoods where the conversion process is complete, customers will collect mail and parcels at their community mailbox. That process is already underway in the V9A postal code – Vic West and Esquimalt – part of Rankin’s riding.

“They’re going to get a letter over the next few weeks apparently advising them of their mail service,” Rankin said. “There was no announcement of return of home delivery to those who have lost it already …  that’s the punchline for me.”

He hopes Canada Post will revisit revenue-generating initiatives suggested during the previous government. “I want to make sure I work with this government to see if some of those revenue-generating ideas might bear fruit,” Rankin said.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria says sale of the planned subdivision will increase the club’s ability to provide services and support. (Courtesy of Association for the Protection of Rural Metchosin)
Victoria Boys and Girls Club says youth would benefit from Metchosin land sale

Club says sale will guarantee supports and programs at time when demand high

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Most Read