Ontario Superior Court upholds Canada Post’s “legal authority”

News Jun 11, 2015 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

In a court case that had received growing interest from municipalities across Canada, an Ontario Superior Court has ruled Hamilton’s bylaw doesn’t apply to Canada Post’s new super mailboxes.

In his 21-page decision, released June 11, Justice Alan Whitten ruled the city’s roads and maintenance bylaw is “inapplicable and inoperative” against Canada Post.

Whitten stated the bylaw, which established a $200 permit fee for each mailbox for a potential cost of about $100,000 to Canada Post, attempted to assert “control” over the super mailboxes when councillors passed the legislation in April. Whitten stated the bylaw can’t be applied to Canada Post because it is a federal Crown agent.

“So in a way, the City has trespassed on the operation of (Canada Post, and) it’s ability to carry out its mandate to deliver the mail in a fashion deemed appropriate by (Canada Post),” stated Whitten.

He stated that Canada Post’s strategy to install community mailboxes on city property is “merely exercising a federal right to so place a (community mailbox).”

Whitten agreed with Canada Post that its decision to establish community mailboxes was to “ensure the fiscal sustainability of the corporation” since door-to-door deliver is “the most expensive form of delivery, as a result of the labour costs involved.”

Hamilton city officials were studying the judge’s decision with a constitutional expert, said Mike Kirkopoulos, director of corporate communications.

He said staff will report to the June 17 government issues committee, where councillors will be briefed on the decision and possibly debate the merits of appealing the decision.

Mountain councillor Terry Whitehead, who has been at the forefront of opposing the installation of the mailboxes, said he wasn’t surprised by the judge’s decision.

He said the judge “misinterpreted” the city’s bylaw which attempted to work with Canada Post rather than in opposition.

Under the Justice’s ruling, Canada Post has the authority to locate a mailbox regardless of safety issues, or environmental impact.

“If Canada Post wanted to install a mailbox in the middle of the judge’s driveway, it can,” said Whitehead. “And Canada Post has done that.

“No one is better to protest the safety of residents than the municipality,” added Whitehead. “Not a third party from Ottawa.”

Jon Hamilton, spokesperson for Canada Post, stated the organization was pleased that the court upheld the Crown organization’s legal authority to install mailboxes.

He said while the city of Hamilton declined to participant in helping to locate the mailboxes, Canada Post consulted with residents through surveys and received a great deal of feedback from them.

Whitten reinforced that sentiment, stating that “(Canada Post) does seek input from the municipality and affected residents” when identifying a mailbox location.

Spokesperson Hamilton said Canada Post will continue with installing mailboxes, with conversion of the delivery system for 36,000 households occurring this summer.

City councillors’ approval of the bylaw was a decision that Whitten stated was “thrust upon the beleaguered city employees.” He said it left a permit application, which included a 120-day moratorium when Canada Post pays $100,000 that “can change in accordance with the wishes of the director.”

Whitehead said it’s time to change the legislation of Canada Post to give municipalities more authority to protect homeowners.

“The federal government needs to reflect on (Canada Post) rules,” said Whitehead. “This decision will not prevail.”

Ontario Superior Court upholds Canada Post’s “legal authority”

News Jun 11, 2015 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

In a court case that had received growing interest from municipalities across Canada, an Ontario Superior Court has ruled Hamilton’s bylaw doesn’t apply to Canada Post’s new super mailboxes.

In his 21-page decision, released June 11, Justice Alan Whitten ruled the city’s roads and maintenance bylaw is “inapplicable and inoperative” against Canada Post.

Whitten stated the bylaw, which established a $200 permit fee for each mailbox for a potential cost of about $100,000 to Canada Post, attempted to assert “control” over the super mailboxes when councillors passed the legislation in April. Whitten stated the bylaw can’t be applied to Canada Post because it is a federal Crown agent.

“So in a way, the City has trespassed on the operation of (Canada Post, and) it’s ability to carry out its mandate to deliver the mail in a fashion deemed appropriate by (Canada Post),” stated Whitten.

He stated that Canada Post’s strategy to install community mailboxes on city property is “merely exercising a federal right to so place a (community mailbox).”

Whitten agreed with Canada Post that its decision to establish community mailboxes was to “ensure the fiscal sustainability of the corporation” since door-to-door deliver is “the most expensive form of delivery, as a result of the labour costs involved.”

Hamilton city officials were studying the judge’s decision with a constitutional expert, said Mike Kirkopoulos, director of corporate communications.

He said staff will report to the June 17 government issues committee, where councillors will be briefed on the decision and possibly debate the merits of appealing the decision.

Mountain councillor Terry Whitehead, who has been at the forefront of opposing the installation of the mailboxes, said he wasn’t surprised by the judge’s decision.

He said the judge “misinterpreted” the city’s bylaw which attempted to work with Canada Post rather than in opposition.

Under the Justice’s ruling, Canada Post has the authority to locate a mailbox regardless of safety issues, or environmental impact.

“If Canada Post wanted to install a mailbox in the middle of the judge’s driveway, it can,” said Whitehead. “And Canada Post has done that.

“No one is better to protest the safety of residents than the municipality,” added Whitehead. “Not a third party from Ottawa.”

Jon Hamilton, spokesperson for Canada Post, stated the organization was pleased that the court upheld the Crown organization’s legal authority to install mailboxes.

He said while the city of Hamilton declined to participant in helping to locate the mailboxes, Canada Post consulted with residents through surveys and received a great deal of feedback from them.

Whitten reinforced that sentiment, stating that “(Canada Post) does seek input from the municipality and affected residents” when identifying a mailbox location.

Spokesperson Hamilton said Canada Post will continue with installing mailboxes, with conversion of the delivery system for 36,000 households occurring this summer.

City councillors’ approval of the bylaw was a decision that Whitten stated was “thrust upon the beleaguered city employees.” He said it left a permit application, which included a 120-day moratorium when Canada Post pays $100,000 that “can change in accordance with the wishes of the director.”

Whitehead said it’s time to change the legislation of Canada Post to give municipalities more authority to protect homeowners.

“The federal government needs to reflect on (Canada Post) rules,” said Whitehead. “This decision will not prevail.”

Ontario Superior Court upholds Canada Post’s “legal authority”

News Jun 11, 2015 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

In a court case that had received growing interest from municipalities across Canada, an Ontario Superior Court has ruled Hamilton’s bylaw doesn’t apply to Canada Post’s new super mailboxes.

In his 21-page decision, released June 11, Justice Alan Whitten ruled the city’s roads and maintenance bylaw is “inapplicable and inoperative” against Canada Post.

Whitten stated the bylaw, which established a $200 permit fee for each mailbox for a potential cost of about $100,000 to Canada Post, attempted to assert “control” over the super mailboxes when councillors passed the legislation in April. Whitten stated the bylaw can’t be applied to Canada Post because it is a federal Crown agent.

“So in a way, the City has trespassed on the operation of (Canada Post, and) it’s ability to carry out its mandate to deliver the mail in a fashion deemed appropriate by (Canada Post),” stated Whitten.

He stated that Canada Post’s strategy to install community mailboxes on city property is “merely exercising a federal right to so place a (community mailbox).”

Whitten agreed with Canada Post that its decision to establish community mailboxes was to “ensure the fiscal sustainability of the corporation” since door-to-door deliver is “the most expensive form of delivery, as a result of the labour costs involved.”

Hamilton city officials were studying the judge’s decision with a constitutional expert, said Mike Kirkopoulos, director of corporate communications.

He said staff will report to the June 17 government issues committee, where councillors will be briefed on the decision and possibly debate the merits of appealing the decision.

Mountain councillor Terry Whitehead, who has been at the forefront of opposing the installation of the mailboxes, said he wasn’t surprised by the judge’s decision.

He said the judge “misinterpreted” the city’s bylaw which attempted to work with Canada Post rather than in opposition.

Under the Justice’s ruling, Canada Post has the authority to locate a mailbox regardless of safety issues, or environmental impact.

“If Canada Post wanted to install a mailbox in the middle of the judge’s driveway, it can,” said Whitehead. “And Canada Post has done that.

“No one is better to protest the safety of residents than the municipality,” added Whitehead. “Not a third party from Ottawa.”

Jon Hamilton, spokesperson for Canada Post, stated the organization was pleased that the court upheld the Crown organization’s legal authority to install mailboxes.

He said while the city of Hamilton declined to participant in helping to locate the mailboxes, Canada Post consulted with residents through surveys and received a great deal of feedback from them.

Whitten reinforced that sentiment, stating that “(Canada Post) does seek input from the municipality and affected residents” when identifying a mailbox location.

Spokesperson Hamilton said Canada Post will continue with installing mailboxes, with conversion of the delivery system for 36,000 households occurring this summer.

City councillors’ approval of the bylaw was a decision that Whitten stated was “thrust upon the beleaguered city employees.” He said it left a permit application, which included a 120-day moratorium when Canada Post pays $100,000 that “can change in accordance with the wishes of the director.”

Whitehead said it’s time to change the legislation of Canada Post to give municipalities more authority to protect homeowners.

“The federal government needs to reflect on (Canada Post) rules,” said Whitehead. “This decision will not prevail.”