"Proper Public Consultation Needed": Study on Impact of Canada Post Delivery Cuts on Vulnerable Groups

OTTAWA, June 24, 2014 /CNW/ - An independent researcher has studied the impact of ending door-to-door postal delivery on vulnerable populations across the country, including seniors, low-income and persons with disabilities, concluding that Canada Post should "take a step back" and look at alternatives to ending door-to-door delivery.

"What many of these groups are proposing is that any changes should be done with transparency, active participation and proper public consultation where the lines of communication are open to all parties" said Caryl-Anne Stordy, author of the study, which was commissioned by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Stordy interviewed groups from the 11 communities first on the list to lose their door-to-door delivery this fall. She focused specifically on organizations representing individuals with disability and mobility issues, seniors and low-income earners. Security, safety and accessibility were the most prominent concerns raised by members of these groups, a majority of whom disagreed with the decision to eliminate door-to-door service.

Stordy noted that 64% of those she interviewed said that they had not been contacted by Canada Post for input on how to make community mailbox conversions more accessible. Only 18% had been contacted.

When Stordy approached Canada Post for more information on its policies on making the mailboxes more accessible, the Crown corporation told her it needed 635 days (1 year, 8 months, 27 days) to provide the requested information. Asked about its consultations with vulnerable populations, Canada Post provided what Stordy described as a "generic statement" - its standard response to the many concerns being raised about the impact of the cuts.

"In light of the lack of information Canada Post has presented to defend its decision on the conversion, it appears that these groups will be left with no other choice than to conquer these issues on their own," noted Stordy.

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers continues to work with groups, municipal organizations and allies to stop the cuts to postal service and find better solutions.

SOURCE: Canadian Union of Postal Workers

For further information: please contact Aalya Ahmad, CUPW Communications, 613-327-1177 or aahmad@cupw-sttp.org.

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