Westmount mayor Peter Trent says he wants the federal Liberals, or someone else, to take the lead in making the impending demise of home mail delivery an issue in next year's federal election.
"You cannot possibly implement these things in the next year or two; it's going to take at least five years," Trent told CJAD's James Mennie on Monday. "So what the Liberals can do is essentially what we did with the [municipal] demerger campaign, and say 'if you proceed with this....we're going to reverse it if we get elected."
The Harper government announced in December that door-to-door mail delivery would be phased out by 2019. Last week, it was announced that a number of West Island municipalities and boroughs, including Pointe-Claire, Dollard-des-Ormeaux and Pierrefonds, would become the next to lose their mail delivery next year.
By the end of 2015, the whole of the south shore will lose their mail delivery, too.
Instead, mail would be delivered to new community mailboxes, which people would have to walk to — or drive to. Trent says the move would not only be hard on the elderly and those with limited mobility, but it would not be very environmentally friendly.
"This is essentially a suburban or exurban solution forced on an urban setting," Trent says. "It may work in the farther reaches of Mascouche, but you start applying this, especially in downtown Montreal, and you have a huge problem of just where to find a place for these things."
Trent also suggests his city could simply not issue building permits for buildings that house the new community mailboxes.