City of Hamilton Disappointed in Decision on Canada Post Mailbox Installations
HAMILTON, ON – October 19, 2016 – The City of Hamilton is disappointed with the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal regarding the municipal authority to regulate installations in and on the City’s roads in the public interest. The City was successful on all grounds of appeal considered by the Court of Appeal except for the ground of constitutional paramountcy. The Court of Appeal confirmed the validity of the by-law as protecting against harm to property and persons using municipal roadways. The decision will be reviewed and Council will consider its options moving forward.
At the time this legal proceeding began, Canada Post was replacing door-to-door mail delivery to over 460,000 addresses across Canada with community mailboxes. The City of Hamilton’s objective, shared by many other municipalities, was to have Canada Post meaningfully consult and cooperate with municipalities so that community mailbox locations could meet the needs of their communities, including aligning with existing infrastructure and municipal plans related to traffic, accessibility, snow clearing, proper lighting and the like. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) sought and obtained intervenor status on the matter because of its impact on municipalities across Canada.
Canada Post has since suspended the replacement of door-to-door mail delivery with community mailboxes. The Federal Government is reviewing Canada Post’s business model, with a commitment to address concerns raised by various stakeholders, including municipalities. The City of Hamilton is hopeful that this review will result in recognition of a very important role that municipalities play in reasonably regulating road allowances to the benefit of all users.