End of door delivery not Armailgeddon

They stopped delivering milk to our front doors.
The world wagged on.

They quit bringing bread to the front step.
The world wagged on.

Now the postal folks want to pull the plug on door-to-door mail delivery.
We’ll survive.



Some people think otherwise. In my community mailbox, I recently received a flyer from a group called Londoners for Door-to-Door. It was about an upcoming town hall meeting with members of Parliament, city councillors and Canada Post demanding restoration of door-to-door mail delivery for Londoners who have been switched to community mailboxes.

These postal activists are concerned about “traffic, safety, litter, snow removal, property values, downloaded municipal costs, access for the elderly and people with disabilities. . . .” said the flyer.

I have been without door-to-door mail delivery for 31 years. When I moved from south London (with door-to-door) into my new home in a north-end subdivision, it was not available. A community mailbox is on the adjacent boulevard, so it’s reasonably close. The relative convenience is offset by grass worn bare by its patrons and having to collect the occasional flyer/rubber bands that inconsiderate neighbours leave behind.

But my world wags on.

Door-to-door delivery is going the way of milk and bread at the door for two simple reasons: High cost and plummeting mail volume.

In a recent column in these pages, R. Michael Warren, former head of Canada Post, noted Canadians are emotionally attached to their mail service, but to continue front-door delivery will require major subsidies from government. He says Justin Trudeau’s election pledge to halt the elimination of door-to-door service that began in 2013 was unwise. The program is currently on hold after $76 million was spent and only 830,000 of the planned five million conversions completed.

A federal task force report says Canada Post needs “transformational change” to adapt to the digital age and keep the corporation self-sustaining. Converting to community mailboxes at a cost of $400 million is a key part to that change, it says.

In London, 14,000 addresses were converted to community mailbox service, says Canada Post spokesperson Jon Hamilton. Another roughly 72,000 are earmarked for conversion, but that may be adjusted somewhat upon further study.

From personal experience, I have found the community mailbox has some interesting advantages...

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