Hamilton enters second round in legal fight against Canada Post

News Jun 26, 2015 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

Hamilton politicians want another shot at Canada Post in court.

In a 10-5 decision, politicians approved at their June 24 council meeting to appeal an Ontario Superior Court decision that upheld Canada Post’s authority to not be subjected to the city’s municipal bylaws.

Mountain councillors Terry Whitehead, Scott Duvall, and Stoney Creek councillor Doug Conley all urged their colleagues to support the appeal, which is estimated to cost about $75,000. The city is expected to use Toronto lawyer Peter Griffin rather than have its own lawyers argue the case.

But the contentious vote at the recent council meeting was far from the unanimous support politicians gave the city in the spring to challenge Canada Post in court initially. At the time all councillors were willing to test the city’s bylaw in court in order to protect its authority over how it regulates its roadways.

“We have to send a clear message that we control our roadways,” said Stoney Creek councillor Maria Pearson, who backed the appeal.

Mountain councillor Scott Duvall, who has been trying to work with Canada Post officials over its installation of the super mailboxes across the area, said appealing the court decision is “important” for the city to reassert “control.”

“We have to protect our taxpayers,” he said.

But Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson said Hamilton has had a poor track record when it comes to challenging court decisions. He said the city remains in a legal battle with the federal government over the Red Hill Creek Expressway, and it lost a civil suit over a tobogganing suit.

He said Hamilton “lost miserably” over Justice Alan Whitten’s Canada Post decision. He said if a fight against Canada Post is conducted, then it should include other municipalities who are also impacted by the decision.

Other municipalities have been watching closely Hamilton’s legal fight. The Town of Aurora recently approved a bylaw similar to Hamilton’s.

City solicitor Janice Atwood-Petkovski said the city retained former Canada Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie to review the court decision, and he stated Hamilton had an “arguable” case.

Binnie stated that municipalities had the jurisdiction to regulate their own roadways, while not conflicting with Canada Post’s mandate.

Atwood-Petkovski said the city lawyers who argued the case in court felt the justice listened to particular arguments in the case “from early in the matter.” She also told councillors court gave “short-shrift” to Hamilton’s arguments about the placements of the super mailboxes and their impact on residents.

 Justice Whitten stated in his 21-page decision that Hamilton “has trespassed on the operation of (Canada Post and) its ability to carry out its mandate to deliver the mail…”  He stated Hamilton’s bylaw, which imposed a $200 fee for each mailbox, had no authority over the Crown corporation.

When city solicitors presented photos of where Canada Post was locating its super mailboxes, Whitten said the photo evidence wasn’t good enough to sway his opinion.

Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla said appealing the decision is a matter of politics, despite what other councillors were stating. He said fighting Canada Post would be like David challenging Goliath.

But Conley, who has been frustrated like his mountain counterparts with Canada Post’s inability to consult with him or residents, responded that in the end David won that fight.

Politicians who opposed the appeal were Ferguson, Flamborough councillor Judi Partridge, Mayor Fred Eisenberger,  Chad Collins and Sam Merulla.

Those councillors in support were Whitehead, Duvall, Jason Farr, Aidan Johnson, Conley, Maria Pearson, Brenda Johnson, Robert Pasuta, Arlene VanderBeek, and Matthew Green.

Hamilton enters second round in legal fight against Canada Post

News Jun 26, 2015 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

Hamilton politicians want another shot at Canada Post in court.

In a 10-5 decision, politicians approved at their June 24 council meeting to appeal an Ontario Superior Court decision that upheld Canada Post’s authority to not be subjected to the city’s municipal bylaws.

Mountain councillors Terry Whitehead, Scott Duvall, and Stoney Creek councillor Doug Conley all urged their colleagues to support the appeal, which is estimated to cost about $75,000. The city is expected to use Toronto lawyer Peter Griffin rather than have its own lawyers argue the case.

But the contentious vote at the recent council meeting was far from the unanimous support politicians gave the city in the spring to challenge Canada Post in court initially. At the time all councillors were willing to test the city’s bylaw in court in order to protect its authority over how it regulates its roadways.

“We have to send a clear message that we control our roadways,” said Stoney Creek councillor Maria Pearson, who backed the appeal.

Mountain councillor Scott Duvall, who has been trying to work with Canada Post officials over its installation of the super mailboxes across the area, said appealing the court decision is “important” for the city to reassert “control.”

“We have to protect our taxpayers,” he said.

But Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson said Hamilton has had a poor track record when it comes to challenging court decisions. He said the city remains in a legal battle with the federal government over the Red Hill Creek Expressway, and it lost a civil suit over a tobogganing suit.

He said Hamilton “lost miserably” over Justice Alan Whitten’s Canada Post decision. He said if a fight against Canada Post is conducted, then it should include other municipalities who are also impacted by the decision.

Other municipalities have been watching closely Hamilton’s legal fight. The Town of Aurora recently approved a bylaw similar to Hamilton’s.

City solicitor Janice Atwood-Petkovski said the city retained former Canada Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie to review the court decision, and he stated Hamilton had an “arguable” case.

Binnie stated that municipalities had the jurisdiction to regulate their own roadways, while not conflicting with Canada Post’s mandate.

Atwood-Petkovski said the city lawyers who argued the case in court felt the justice listened to particular arguments in the case “from early in the matter.” She also told councillors court gave “short-shrift” to Hamilton’s arguments about the placements of the super mailboxes and their impact on residents.

 Justice Whitten stated in his 21-page decision that Hamilton “has trespassed on the operation of (Canada Post and) its ability to carry out its mandate to deliver the mail…”  He stated Hamilton’s bylaw, which imposed a $200 fee for each mailbox, had no authority over the Crown corporation.

When city solicitors presented photos of where Canada Post was locating its super mailboxes, Whitten said the photo evidence wasn’t good enough to sway his opinion.

Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla said appealing the decision is a matter of politics, despite what other councillors were stating. He said fighting Canada Post would be like David challenging Goliath.

But Conley, who has been frustrated like his mountain counterparts with Canada Post’s inability to consult with him or residents, responded that in the end David won that fight.

Politicians who opposed the appeal were Ferguson, Flamborough councillor Judi Partridge, Mayor Fred Eisenberger,  Chad Collins and Sam Merulla.

Those councillors in support were Whitehead, Duvall, Jason Farr, Aidan Johnson, Conley, Maria Pearson, Brenda Johnson, Robert Pasuta, Arlene VanderBeek, and Matthew Green.

Hamilton enters second round in legal fight against Canada Post

News Jun 26, 2015 by Kevin Werner Hamilton Mountain News

Hamilton politicians want another shot at Canada Post in court.

In a 10-5 decision, politicians approved at their June 24 council meeting to appeal an Ontario Superior Court decision that upheld Canada Post’s authority to not be subjected to the city’s municipal bylaws.

Mountain councillors Terry Whitehead, Scott Duvall, and Stoney Creek councillor Doug Conley all urged their colleagues to support the appeal, which is estimated to cost about $75,000. The city is expected to use Toronto lawyer Peter Griffin rather than have its own lawyers argue the case.

But the contentious vote at the recent council meeting was far from the unanimous support politicians gave the city in the spring to challenge Canada Post in court initially. At the time all councillors were willing to test the city’s bylaw in court in order to protect its authority over how it regulates its roadways.

“We have to send a clear message that we control our roadways,” said Stoney Creek councillor Maria Pearson, who backed the appeal.

Mountain councillor Scott Duvall, who has been trying to work with Canada Post officials over its installation of the super mailboxes across the area, said appealing the court decision is “important” for the city to reassert “control.”

“We have to protect our taxpayers,” he said.

But Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson said Hamilton has had a poor track record when it comes to challenging court decisions. He said the city remains in a legal battle with the federal government over the Red Hill Creek Expressway, and it lost a civil suit over a tobogganing suit.

He said Hamilton “lost miserably” over Justice Alan Whitten’s Canada Post decision. He said if a fight against Canada Post is conducted, then it should include other municipalities who are also impacted by the decision.

Other municipalities have been watching closely Hamilton’s legal fight. The Town of Aurora recently approved a bylaw similar to Hamilton’s.

City solicitor Janice Atwood-Petkovski said the city retained former Canada Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie to review the court decision, and he stated Hamilton had an “arguable” case.

Binnie stated that municipalities had the jurisdiction to regulate their own roadways, while not conflicting with Canada Post’s mandate.

Atwood-Petkovski said the city lawyers who argued the case in court felt the justice listened to particular arguments in the case “from early in the matter.” She also told councillors court gave “short-shrift” to Hamilton’s arguments about the placements of the super mailboxes and their impact on residents.

 Justice Whitten stated in his 21-page decision that Hamilton “has trespassed on the operation of (Canada Post and) its ability to carry out its mandate to deliver the mail…”  He stated Hamilton’s bylaw, which imposed a $200 fee for each mailbox, had no authority over the Crown corporation.

When city solicitors presented photos of where Canada Post was locating its super mailboxes, Whitten said the photo evidence wasn’t good enough to sway his opinion.

Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla said appealing the decision is a matter of politics, despite what other councillors were stating. He said fighting Canada Post would be like David challenging Goliath.

But Conley, who has been frustrated like his mountain counterparts with Canada Post’s inability to consult with him or residents, responded that in the end David won that fight.

Politicians who opposed the appeal were Ferguson, Flamborough councillor Judi Partridge, Mayor Fred Eisenberger,  Chad Collins and Sam Merulla.

Those councillors in support were Whitehead, Duvall, Jason Farr, Aidan Johnson, Conley, Maria Pearson, Brenda Johnson, Robert Pasuta, Arlene VanderBeek, and Matthew Green.