June 01, 2006 17:26 ET

Canada Post President Commits to Mail Delivery in Rural Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 1, 2006) - Appearing before the Commons Transportation Committee, Moya Greene, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Post, promised to work with Canadians to minimize disruption and inconvenience in mail delivery.

Responding to questions related to a change in the mode of delivery for some rural Canadians, Ms. Greene said, "Where delivery is determined to be clearly unsafe, quick action is required. In these instances, customers have to be immediately moved to an alternative form of delivery. Canada Post can either suspend service or continue with a stop-gap location until the next best and safest alternative can be put in place."

Employees have a legal right to refuse work they consider unsafe, and employers have the legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of employees is protected. Also, the Criminal Code was amended to impose a new duty on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent employees from suffering harm at work.

In the past six months, close to 300 rural mail carriers have raised health and safety concerns and some have exercised their legal right to refuse to work under the Canada Labour Code. In a number of instances, Human Resources and Social Development Health and Safety Officers have determined that the workplace conditions constitute a situation that must be immediately corrected.

"These are serious issues", said Ms. Greene. "And I have instructed that various experts be engaged, including traffic safety experts at the National Research Council, to evaluate and advise on the working conditions of rural mail carriers. We have also retained specialists in the area of ergonomics together with lawyers specializing in workplace safety."

There are a limited number of safe alternatives to rural mailbox delivery. They may include delivery to a central point, such as a local post office, or to a Community Mailbox, which are currently used to service millions of Canadians in similar situations.

"Canada Post takes the concerns raised by its employees very seriously and is equally concerned with the impact of any changes on service to rural customers", said Ms. Greene. "Mail delivery to rural and all Canadians is essential and we take seriously any change that might, for safety reasons, be required. Delivery will continue to all Canadians. And Canada Post is committed to working closely with any affected community to ensure that any change in the kind of delivery balances convenience for customers with employee safety."

Contact Information

  • Canada Post
    Media Relations, Ottawa
    (613) 734-8888