The Brantford Home Builders’ Association is irked by a Canada Post decision to charge developers of new subdivisions $200 per address to install and activate community mail boxes.
The association has written a letter to Brant MP Phil McColeman and MP Denis Lebel, the federal minister responsible for Canada Post, outlining its concerns about the fee in response to an October letter from Canada Post.
“The letter (from Canada Post) indicates that Canada Post has historically incurred the full cost of installing community mail boxes and activating all addresses in new developments,” BHBA president Rob Melick said in the letter. “This is simply not the case. Our industry, and specifically our members, already accept initial infrastructure costs associated with building super mail box pads in low-rise developments. These costs are not transferred back to Canada Post to absorb.”
Melick said Canada Post has experienced a decline in mail volume during the past five years, leading to a financial hit for the Crown corporation.
“This is an unfortunate circumstance, but our industry should not be the ones to accept the displacement of burden for operational shortfalls, nor should we be called upon to subsidize existing door-to-door delivery in older established neighbourhoods,” Melick said.
In a letter addressed to local and provincial home builders’ associations, Ron Olson, president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, said the fees will hit home buyers.
“The proposed $200 fee will go directly into the cost of every new home affected,” Olson said. “Home buyers will pay this fee through their mortgages. Housing affordability will be impacted. To claim otherwise is nonsense.
“When Canada Post introduced community mail box service in order to save money, it promised to cover the cost of these ‘super mailboxes.’ It is now reneging on this promise unilaterally. If Canada Post can not afford to install community mail boxes, let’s go back to door-to-door mail service in new communities. It is outrageous that new home buyers should have to pay more to get less.”
Canada Post spokesperson Jon Hamilton said Canada Post is no longer able to bear the full cost of community mail box installation.
“We are looking at partial cost recovery,” Hamilton said. “Each year in Canada, our network has expanded by 150,000 or more addresses, which are new developments. Since the late 1980s, we have incurred the cost of installation and activation. We have a good working relationship with developers and municipalities and we will continue to work with everybody to provide a service that is valuable.”