Chairperson's Update - Special Edition

Alert: Something to do before the holidays

I know that this is a busy time of year, but there is something that I want you to do before the holidays begin: write to the Hon. Lisa Raitt and/or your Member of Parliament and explain why Canada Post must maintain accessible and inclusive service, which meets the needs of Canadians with disabilities.

Canada Post has announced that it will discontinue door-to-door service, so Canadians will have their mail delivered to communal mailboxes in their neighborhoods.  The communal mailbox will be a barrier for many Canadians with disabilities, because due to weather and snow conditions sidewalks can become impassable for persons who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids.  For persons whose disabilities cause fatigue, a trip to the communal mailbox will be an additional task that they will have to juggle in their daily routine.  Due to poverty, some people with disabilities live in unsafe neighborhoods, as housing costs are lower, and may feel vulnerable when retrieving their mail.  Due to these and other constraints, some people will have to rely on friends, neighbors or volunteers from charitable agencies for help with mail retrieval and this lessens the independence of persons with disabilities.  Having other people pick-up an individual's mail reduces their privacy and this could be particularly worrisome for women with disabilities living in abusive situations.  They may not want their abuser having access to personal documents that come in the mail, such as bank statements. 

While reliance on information and communication technology instead of Canada Post may be an option for some Canadians, not all Canadians can afford to have internet service at home.  Canadians with disabilities face a disproportionate level of poverty. 

Due to a number of factors, this announced change in service will have an adverse impact on persons with disabilities. Join CCD in urging that these plans be halted.  CCD has written about the new barrier being created by Canada Post to the Hon. Lisa Raiit, Minister of Transport, all Members of Parliament and testified before the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Rather than completely eliminating door-to-door service, it would be preferable to reduce service from daily to a lesser number of deliveries per week. 

Write the Hon. Lisa Raitt and/or your MP urging them to work with Canada Post to preserve some form of door-to-door service so that people with disabilities do not face more exclusion and dependency.

Happy holidays to everyone from the team at CCD who is dedicated to the achievement of a Canada that is fully accessible and inclusive of people with disabilities.

Tony Dolan