“Up to recently people weren’t really paying attention,” Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) rep Leon Bouvier said, even though there was some initial criticism when Canada Post announced late last year it was doing away with remaining door to door delivery in urban neighbourhoods.
It has since announced the first 11 communities that this fall will have no more door-to-door service, the closest to Windsor being Oakville, affecting more than 26,000 addresses.
Other communities are slated in spring 2015 include six postal codes in Hamilton (Mountain) and others in Milton and Georgetown.
John Caines, Canada Post spokesman, said no changes for Windsor-Essex have yet been announced although the company plans to convert all home-to-home deliveries to community boxes within five years.
“Once we’re ready to move into an area we will communicate with the municipality, our employees, and of course the affected customers and we haven’t done that in your area yet,” he said.
Caines said customers can find out exactly what’s in store for their postal code by going to Canada Post’s website and typing in their postal code and it will “tell you if anything is happening in your area.”
Bouvier, regional education officer for the union’s London office, expects an uproar when the public actually sees the mailboxes - as per the one shown in the above photo accompanying this story - from Ft. McMurray, Alberta, where they were recently installed.
But local union official Jeff Carroll says an immediate community backlash forced Canada Post to “disburse them.”
Still, there are questions over how the boxes will be distributed, especially in densely packed neighbourhoods or downtown cores.
Carroll thinks when the boxes do come to Windsor-Essex, the town of Tecumseh would get them first because the area is “more than half” served by them now.
The same pattern appears in other communities where the new boxes are going into suburban areas with already a high degree of community mail boxes.
Bouvier said the new boxes are slightly different – they have wider doors for one thing - from the traditional ones that have been in existence for decades.
“They’re new generation boxes they just purchased from the states,” he said.
Carroll says a lawn sign campaign had been wildly popular locally and at least 1500 signs have been distributed.
He said Windsor City Council also passed a motion against the ending of door to door delivery.
Carroll suggested the new boxes not only will create eyesores but clusters of them could force property values to decline.