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This article was published 6/10/2015 (1602 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It’s not city hall’s responsibility to ensure residents can access the new neighbourhood community mailboxes.
Coun. Janice Lukes, chairwoman of the public works committee, said the city will not clear snow windrows from community mailboxes.
"That’s Canada Post’s job," Lukes (South Winnipeg- St. Norbert) told reporters Tuesday. "Canada Post has to make the mailboxes accessible."
Lukes was answering questions following an administration report that said Canada Post has been complying with the city’s request to ensure the community mailboxes are accessible, with the construction of curb cuts and hiring contractors in winter to clear snow.
The administration report was strongly criticized by Coun. Ross Eadie, who said the city isn’t challenging Canada Post to live up to its commitments.
Eadie (Mynarksi) said Canada Post’s practice doesn’t meet the standards residents expect in winter, adding the Crown corporation should clear the sidewalk and the curb of snow from all mailboxes and ensure proper no-loading zones are established at every mail box.
Canada Post said it will only clear snow from the front of the mail boxes.
Public works officials said Canada Post has installed thousands of community mailboxes and it’s only discovered concerns "with a handful" of those and they are being addressed.
A union official who represents Canada Post employees told reporters that Canada Post isn’t living up to its responsibilities to ensure public access to the community boxes in winter, adding that residents in Sage Creek were without mail for seven working days last winter because letter carriers couldn’t get to the boxes.
"There are hundreds of problems," with the community mail boxes, said Glenn Bennett, president of Local 856 of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
Bennett said Canada Post employs only two contractors to clear snow for all of Winnipeg, adding the Crown agency isn’t doing enough to ensure public access to mail service.
Bennett said the union will be compiling a list of problem areas for the city’s consideration.
Bennett said the union believes city hall has to intervene when Canada Post falls short.
"If the city has to come out and clear the windrows, then that’s a cost put on to the taxpayers of the city," Bennett said. "They have to hold (Canada Post) accountable."
But Lukes said the city won’t do Canada Post’s work, adding if residents feel Canada Post isn’t doing their job, then complaints should go to it or their local Member of Parliament.
"I would hope that the folks who don’t get their mail will call Canada Post," Lukes said, it’s not realistic to expect city hall to clean up the Crown agency’s problems.
Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.