Dorval searching for solution to end of home mail delivery

Anthony
Anthony Abbondanza
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Fear cut in service to impact senior citizens and persons with reduced mobility

Barbara Riendeau, president of Club 55 Voyageurs, suggested the city use Sarto Desnoyers Community Centre, in part, as a depot for mail which cannot be retrieved by seniors or persons with reduced mobility.

The city of Dorval has begun searching for ways to mitigate the loss of Canada Post’s home mail delivery service, expected sometime in early 2015.

City officials have already met with representatives of the federal postal agency to discuss solutions, and will make recommendations to Canada Post in future discussions.

The concern is the loss of door-to-door mail delivery and how it will impact senior citizens and the disabled.

Dorval Mayor Edgar Rouleau was unavailable for comment, but did issue the following statement: “We find it unfortunate that Canada Post is not more sensitive to the needs and

preoccupations of citizens who find it important to receive their mail at home.”

“We insist that Canada Post pays special attention to the increasing number of seniors and persons with reduced mobility that will be directly affected by this reform of an essential service,” he added.

Canada Post announced last December it would replace home delivery service in urban areas with community mailboxes (CMB) by 2019. Earlier this month, the federal postal agency announced residents of Dorval, Dollard des Ormeaux, Kirkland, Ile Bizard-Ste. Genevieve, Pointe Claire, and Pierrefonds-Roxboro would be among the first to lose home mail delivery beginning next year.

Especially controversial are CMBs –up to half a kilometre away.

Canada Post recently sent a survey to residents of the affected areas to learn of concerns regarding CMBs.

The mailboxes, said Paula Chiarella, director of the Lakeshore Senior Citizens’ Club, is impractical for seniors.

“Anybody with a designated disability should have mail delivered to them,” said Chiarella.

But the problem goes further, said Chiarella, as many seniors who are stricken with mobility issues aren’t necessarily officially designated with a disability – adding an additional obstacle to receive exemption from the service cut.

“Some of these seniors can’t even use the available taxi service to get to the doctor and file the proper paper work,” she added.

For Barbara Riendeau, the location of the CMBs is of great concern

Like many of the members in the Club Dorval 55 and over Voyageurs, Riendeau’s variable bouts of arthritic pain will hinder her ability to walk “half a kilometre away” with or without the use of a cane.

As a result, the president of Club Dorval is suggesting the city look into using the Sarto Desnoyers Community Centre as a depot for mail, which cannot be retrieved at the CMBs by residents with reduced mobility. Young volunteers, she suggested, could then deliver the parcels to residents incapable of walking to CMBs.

“Our younger citizens would be willing,” she said. “We have a great volunteer group in the city.” 

@AAbbondanza1

Organizations: Canada Post, Club Dorval, Senior Citizens Sarto Desnoyers Community Centre

Geographic location: Dorval, Pointe Claire

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