Hamilton “asserting control” of federal crown agency, says Canada Post lawyer

News May 26, 2015 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

Canada Post’s entire five-point action plan introduced in 2013 to restructure a sagging financial organization will be put in jeopardy if Hamilton is allowed to curb the federal crown agency’s powers, said the organization's lawyer.

John Laskin, of Torys LLP told Ontario Superior Court Justice Allan Whiten May 26 that the city’s bylaw, which includes a $200 permit for each super mailbox that is installed, will “block the conversion process” of door-to-door mail delivery to community mailboxes until at least next year and adding at least $100,000 to Canada Post’s costs.

Laskin, who began what could be a two-day hearing at the John Sopinka Courthouse in what some have described as a landmark case, said Canada Post’s proposed conversion of 1 million households across Canada to community mailboxes will save “tens of thousands of dollars” annually in Hamilton. Canada Post is ending door-to-door delivery to 117,000 Hamilton households.

But besides the financial impact of Hamilton’s bylaw on Canada Post, Laskin told court, it will “transfer control over the location of the community mail boxes from Canada Post to the city thereby “nullifying” the Canada Post Corporation Act regarding mailboxes under the mail receptacles regulations.

He said the bylaw, approved by council in April, attempts to “reassert control over every activity” from Canada Post to the city.

Laskin argued, while nearly about 30 people filled the gallery’s seats, with some people left standing, that since Canada Post is an agent of the federal crown, the “bylaw specifically imposes in a compulsive manner” against the agency. He said if that is the case, then the municipal bylaw can’t fully apply to Canada Post. He cited a number of past cases that Canada courts have upheld the argument that municipal and provincial governments can’t enact rules “in a compulsive manner” against crown agencies.

Laskin said Canada Post initially offered to co-operate with Hamilton officials and residents starting last summer in its plan to install community mailboxes.

But even before Canada Post officials reached to city staff, city politicians, said Laskin, approved a motion that opposed the crown agency’s goal to eliminate door-to-door mail delivery.

He said city officials decided “not to engage” Canada Post “for its own reasons.”

Laskin said Canada Post wanted to talk with the municipality on locations for the mailboxes.  Despite the last of cooperation from the city, he said, Canada Post has listened to residents and has already re-located about 150 community mailboxes.

Whitten did reveal parts of his thinking at the beginning of the hearing, asking Laskin that if Canada Post’s constitutional argument is upheld, will Canada Post and the city enter into discussion on the issue?

Laskin said Canada Post is prepared to meet with the city.

“Canada Post is ready to enter into agreement with Hamilton in agreed upon terms,” he said.

Whitten, who commented upon the “mass of material” both parties have submitted to him, said before the hearing began that he will reserve his decision. He said it should take about a month for his decision to be released.

The city’s solicitor is expected to argue Hamilton’s case May 28 starting at 9 a.m.  There could be an additional day set aside next week to continue the hearing.

The landmark case between the city of Hamilton, which has ordered Canada Post to cease installing its community mailboxes and follow its new bylaw, and Canada Post which has asked the court to invalidate the measure, is being watched closely by other municipalities across the country.

Mountain councillor Terry Whitehead, who has spearheaded the community opposition against the installation of the mailboxes, says Hamilton has a strong argument against Canada Post.

“I’m quite confident in the outcome,” said Whitehead. “We are in the best position.”

But he acknowledged that whatever decision is made, it is expected either Canada Post or the city will appeal the decision.

Meanwhile, prior to the hearing, about 20 people protested outside the John Sopinka Courthouse in support of door-to-door delivery.  

 

Hamilton “asserting control” of federal crown agency, says Canada Post lawyer

News May 26, 2015 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

Canada Post’s entire five-point action plan introduced in 2013 to restructure a sagging financial organization will be put in jeopardy if Hamilton is allowed to curb the federal crown agency’s powers, said the organization's lawyer.

John Laskin, of Torys LLP told Ontario Superior Court Justice Allan Whiten May 26 that the city’s bylaw, which includes a $200 permit for each super mailbox that is installed, will “block the conversion process” of door-to-door mail delivery to community mailboxes until at least next year and adding at least $100,000 to Canada Post’s costs.

Laskin, who began what could be a two-day hearing at the John Sopinka Courthouse in what some have described as a landmark case, said Canada Post’s proposed conversion of 1 million households across Canada to community mailboxes will save “tens of thousands of dollars” annually in Hamilton. Canada Post is ending door-to-door delivery to 117,000 Hamilton households.

But besides the financial impact of Hamilton’s bylaw on Canada Post, Laskin told court, it will “transfer control over the location of the community mail boxes from Canada Post to the city thereby “nullifying” the Canada Post Corporation Act regarding mailboxes under the mail receptacles regulations.

He said the bylaw, approved by council in April, attempts to “reassert control over every activity” from Canada Post to the city.

Laskin argued, while nearly about 30 people filled the gallery’s seats, with some people left standing, that since Canada Post is an agent of the federal crown, the “bylaw specifically imposes in a compulsive manner” against the agency. He said if that is the case, then the municipal bylaw can’t fully apply to Canada Post. He cited a number of past cases that Canada courts have upheld the argument that municipal and provincial governments can’t enact rules “in a compulsive manner” against crown agencies.

Laskin said Canada Post initially offered to co-operate with Hamilton officials and residents starting last summer in its plan to install community mailboxes.

But even before Canada Post officials reached to city staff, city politicians, said Laskin, approved a motion that opposed the crown agency’s goal to eliminate door-to-door mail delivery.

He said city officials decided “not to engage” Canada Post “for its own reasons.”

Laskin said Canada Post wanted to talk with the municipality on locations for the mailboxes.  Despite the last of cooperation from the city, he said, Canada Post has listened to residents and has already re-located about 150 community mailboxes.

Whitten did reveal parts of his thinking at the beginning of the hearing, asking Laskin that if Canada Post’s constitutional argument is upheld, will Canada Post and the city enter into discussion on the issue?

Laskin said Canada Post is prepared to meet with the city.

“Canada Post is ready to enter into agreement with Hamilton in agreed upon terms,” he said.

Whitten, who commented upon the “mass of material” both parties have submitted to him, said before the hearing began that he will reserve his decision. He said it should take about a month for his decision to be released.

The city’s solicitor is expected to argue Hamilton’s case May 28 starting at 9 a.m.  There could be an additional day set aside next week to continue the hearing.

The landmark case between the city of Hamilton, which has ordered Canada Post to cease installing its community mailboxes and follow its new bylaw, and Canada Post which has asked the court to invalidate the measure, is being watched closely by other municipalities across the country.

Mountain councillor Terry Whitehead, who has spearheaded the community opposition against the installation of the mailboxes, says Hamilton has a strong argument against Canada Post.

“I’m quite confident in the outcome,” said Whitehead. “We are in the best position.”

But he acknowledged that whatever decision is made, it is expected either Canada Post or the city will appeal the decision.

Meanwhile, prior to the hearing, about 20 people protested outside the John Sopinka Courthouse in support of door-to-door delivery.  

 

Hamilton “asserting control” of federal crown agency, says Canada Post lawyer

News May 26, 2015 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

Canada Post’s entire five-point action plan introduced in 2013 to restructure a sagging financial organization will be put in jeopardy if Hamilton is allowed to curb the federal crown agency’s powers, said the organization's lawyer.

John Laskin, of Torys LLP told Ontario Superior Court Justice Allan Whiten May 26 that the city’s bylaw, which includes a $200 permit for each super mailbox that is installed, will “block the conversion process” of door-to-door mail delivery to community mailboxes until at least next year and adding at least $100,000 to Canada Post’s costs.

Laskin, who began what could be a two-day hearing at the John Sopinka Courthouse in what some have described as a landmark case, said Canada Post’s proposed conversion of 1 million households across Canada to community mailboxes will save “tens of thousands of dollars” annually in Hamilton. Canada Post is ending door-to-door delivery to 117,000 Hamilton households.

But besides the financial impact of Hamilton’s bylaw on Canada Post, Laskin told court, it will “transfer control over the location of the community mail boxes from Canada Post to the city thereby “nullifying” the Canada Post Corporation Act regarding mailboxes under the mail receptacles regulations.

He said the bylaw, approved by council in April, attempts to “reassert control over every activity” from Canada Post to the city.

Laskin argued, while nearly about 30 people filled the gallery’s seats, with some people left standing, that since Canada Post is an agent of the federal crown, the “bylaw specifically imposes in a compulsive manner” against the agency. He said if that is the case, then the municipal bylaw can’t fully apply to Canada Post. He cited a number of past cases that Canada courts have upheld the argument that municipal and provincial governments can’t enact rules “in a compulsive manner” against crown agencies.

Laskin said Canada Post initially offered to co-operate with Hamilton officials and residents starting last summer in its plan to install community mailboxes.

But even before Canada Post officials reached to city staff, city politicians, said Laskin, approved a motion that opposed the crown agency’s goal to eliminate door-to-door mail delivery.

He said city officials decided “not to engage” Canada Post “for its own reasons.”

Laskin said Canada Post wanted to talk with the municipality on locations for the mailboxes.  Despite the last of cooperation from the city, he said, Canada Post has listened to residents and has already re-located about 150 community mailboxes.

Whitten did reveal parts of his thinking at the beginning of the hearing, asking Laskin that if Canada Post’s constitutional argument is upheld, will Canada Post and the city enter into discussion on the issue?

Laskin said Canada Post is prepared to meet with the city.

“Canada Post is ready to enter into agreement with Hamilton in agreed upon terms,” he said.

Whitten, who commented upon the “mass of material” both parties have submitted to him, said before the hearing began that he will reserve his decision. He said it should take about a month for his decision to be released.

The city’s solicitor is expected to argue Hamilton’s case May 28 starting at 9 a.m.  There could be an additional day set aside next week to continue the hearing.

The landmark case between the city of Hamilton, which has ordered Canada Post to cease installing its community mailboxes and follow its new bylaw, and Canada Post which has asked the court to invalidate the measure, is being watched closely by other municipalities across the country.

Mountain councillor Terry Whitehead, who has spearheaded the community opposition against the installation of the mailboxes, says Hamilton has a strong argument against Canada Post.

“I’m quite confident in the outcome,” said Whitehead. “We are in the best position.”

But he acknowledged that whatever decision is made, it is expected either Canada Post or the city will appeal the decision.

Meanwhile, prior to the hearing, about 20 people protested outside the John Sopinka Courthouse in support of door-to-door delivery.