The Canadian Association for Retired Persons regularly advocates for the rights of Canadian seniors. CARP has been one of the loudest voices opposing Canada Post’s recent announcement that it will be eliminating door-to-door postal delivery.
Susan Eng, Vice President for advocacy at CARP, stated “This is probably the last group that’s still really interested in ordinary post mail. And they’re the ones being hit. That doesn’t make any sense.”
That’s putting it mildly. While Canada’s seniors are diverse, one thing most can agree on is the importance of being able to live independently. The elimination of door-to-door delivery will severely impact the quality of life for seniors who can’t get around easily due to mobility challenges. Many choose to live in urban areas because of ease of access to services, door-to-door mail delivery being one of those services.
Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra blithely waved off the concerns of seniors at a special emergency meeting of the transport committee in December by saying that most seniors would “welcome the exercise” of walking to a community mailbox. Patricia Douglas, CARP Sudbury’s regional chair, stated that Chopra owed seniors an apology for the comments, and wondered, “What seniors has he been talking to?”
When asked how disabled or other mobility-challenged individuals should pick up their mail, Chopra responded that extra mailbox keys could be issued for others to pick up their mail and the height of the boxes could be adjusted. It goes without saying that those happy to be living independently aren’t going to be too happy to ask someone for help picking up their mail, a fact that Chopra seems to be dismissing out of hand.
CARP’s response to Chopra’s comments was “It’s not the seniors who want more exercise that concern us. It’s those who can’t walk easily or risk falling on ice. An extra set of keys is a sorry response.”
Canada Post is making the cuts in order to deal with a $6.5 Billion shortfall that, according to Chopra, has led to a need for drastic measures. While nobody can discount that a serious overhaul is in need at Canada Post, one wonders why other measures cannot be implemented before instigating the elimination of door-to-door deliveries.
John Lindsay, the chair of Friendly to Seniors, responded that most seniors he had spoken with would accept a lower level of service, such as delivery once every few days, as long as door-to-door deliveries were maintained.
While Canada Post is talking about the cuts as if they are a foregone conclusion, they haven’t been implemented yet. If you don’t want door-to-door delivery to be cut, contact your Member of Parliament and let them know.