Protest held as London councillors say Canada Post misled the city
Published Friday, July 24, 2015 5:47PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 24, 2015 6:45PM EDT
Amid a sit-in protest against community mailboxes in London Friday, councillors are taking aim at Canada Post officials, accusing them of lying to city hall.
In March, Canada Post promised no installations would go ahead until city council and Canada Post met to discuss a city report about the boxes.
Councillor Tanya Park says, "I've been lied to, I see that this rollout is happening with no consultation to me."
In fact, in an exchange with Councillor Virginia Ridley at a Civic Works Committee meeting on March 23, Canada Post's Andy Patterson appears to have made just that promise:
"Just to be clear, my expectation was that the actual sites wouldn't start being installed until the report back, so is that able to be delayed until that can happen?" Ridley said.
Patterson responded, "I'll make sure I report back before the sites begin to be installed, yes."
And on Friday, Ridley reiterated that she believed the commitment was no cement until a city hall report was complete and dismissed suggestions Canada Post sought a meeting in June.
"Mr. Patterson has the details, I believe, or at least a timeline of when that's expected back and it would have been nice if he had come back at that time."
Patterson, for his part, says they are still willing to talk.
Meanwhile on Cavendish Crescent, a sit-in was held to try to delay the installation of the concrete pad for a new community mailbox.
David Heap of Londoners for Door to Door says, "We're here to protect community space against this steamroller corporation that rolls over community wishes, the city's and their supposed engagement with the city...They are lying through their teeth when they claim to be consulting because they're not even honouring their commitment with the city."
Heap believes the staff report will touch on many of the concerns seen on Cavendish, including no parking signs next to the box location and cars backing out of a driveway towards people getting their mail.
They are concerns Park says could have been avoided by talking more with neighbours.
"The community organization in this very neighbourhood reached out to Canada Post, and they were turned down to have a meeting."
City staff's report is expected by September.