Home delivery of mail is an essential service; like policing and fire fighting, it should not have to pay for itself. Transitioning from physical mail delivery to online delivery will create hardships because
1. Many seniors do not have access to computers and others are unwilling to enter personal information. A 2009 Stats Canada study revealed only 21% of individuals over 75 are on line. When we last polled are members, 70% indicated they were online, but half of those used the computer only to connect with their children or grandchildren.
2. Community mailboxes are not the answer
Besides being a community eyesore put the vulnerable at risk in two ways. In inclement conditions, the risk of a fall increases significantly. Even in good weather, the mailbox is a target for vandalism as pension and other assistance cheques may be targeted by thieves.
3. Relying on family members to pick up and deliver mail is not the answer. This puts seniors at risk of financial abuse as someone else will be collecting their cheques (over 10% of people over 65 have suffered financial abuse).
4. CARP calls for the elimination of all community mailboxes and reinstatement of door to door delivery. If a revised delivery schedule is required to mitigate costs, CARP would not oppose this action.