by Rhonda Massad
with files from Kevin Woodhouse
In a symbolic act last Thursday, Montreal Mayor Coderre took a jack hammer to a concrete slab installed by Post Canada at the entrance to Pierrefonds Nature Park L’Anse à l’Orme on Gouin Boulevard West.
For West Island residents in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Pointe Claire, Lachine, Dorval and parts of Kirkland, community mail boxes are now the norm as home delivery has stopped in those municipalities as of Monday morning.
After Coderre’s photo op was done last Thursday, a back hoe finished up the job in short order. By the time the Mayor headed back down town there was little evidence that Canada Post had been to the site.
“I will be sending the bill directly to Canada Post,” Coderre told the crowd of reporters speckled with politicians and residents. “Enough of the bullshit.”
Canada Post moved the L’Anse à l’Orme location to a spot adjacent to Gouin Boulevard.
The site was originally chosen at the entrance of the park because, according to Anick Losier of Canada Post, “that site had fit the safety criteria for the surrounding neighbours.”
“It is unacceptable that Canada Post puts community mail boxes in our nature parks, they have already littered our streets and local green spaces and parks. We already have a box in the parking lot of Cap St. Jacques. We are making a statement today that this is unacceptable,” said the Pierrefonds-Roxboro mayor.
“It is unacceptable that Canada Post does not consult anyone before they put these boxes in,” Beis continued, “especially in an area that is highly used by young families and safety is an issue.”
On Saturday, Pierrefonds resident Marie-Calire Gagnon defied workers contracted by Canada Post to install a community mailbox system near her property. In protest, Gagnon sat in the dug out area until police officers asked her to move.
According to Anick Losier of Canada Post, “we have been in discussions with Mme. Gagnon to finalize a new site that will respect her wishes.”
And despite Gagnon and Coderre’s acts, Losier said that “of the 3,000 sites that we have set up, we have had two protests which is not a bad average.
“We know that some people will be upset with the changes and while it can be a challenge to manage everyone’s expectations, these changes made will ensure the sustainability and affordability of our mail delivery system,” said Losier.
According to Therese Lavigne who has lived on Clermont Street in Pierrefonds for more than 43 years the placement of her mail box makes no sense.
“We have nine homes on my street, we have four community mail boxes,” Lavigne told The Suburban, “three boxes with 16 mail cubbies plus the one in front of my house for a total of 64 addresses receiving mail on my street. My own mail box is at the end of my street, not even part of the three that are in front of my home.”