Category Archives: opinions

Canada Post’s Delivery Solution

Well there we were, a few days before Christmas and lo and behold, in our mailbox was the following letter from Canada Post detailing the solution they had arrived at after looking at Gatensbury Road’s safety issues.

There is more information about this in previous posts on this blog to get up to speed on this issue.

Dec23 Canada Post letter

At first glance, it looks like our mail problems have been satisfactorily solved.  What you don’t see in this letter, is that they never once consulted with any of us street residents.  They just came up with a solution independent of the people it actually affects.

Is that the way we do things in Canada?!  I’d like to think not.

How does this affect us?  For starters, we keep referring to one of our home owners who is in her 90’s.  Now she has to figure out how to get down to the bottom of the hill to get her mail and then get back up again.  Of course, many of us will volunteer to help her out but that’s not a real solution for her or the other residents on the hill.

Let’s be realistic here; am I going to drive my car a few hundred metres down the hill to get my mail?  Of course not!  When I do happen to drive down on another errand I can pick it up on my return but that’s kind of inconvenient. Mostly I’ll walk down and get it and walk back up again.

But wait a minute…..Our street isn’t safe to walk up and down!  And so the conundrum continues.

We could accept some kind of solution like this as a stop gap measure but what we really need is to sit down and work with all the parties involved to make our street safer so mail can be delivered safely.  But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen in the immediate future.

And can you remember anytime Canada Post actually met with the people it serves to ask them how to best accommodate their needs?  No time that I know of, anyway.

Oh, and what about the security of these so called “super mailboxes”? The CBC gave a report from 2 years ago that outlined just how secure they really aren’t.  There’s a great interactive map detailing thefts from all over British Columbia in that report.  Another one from Abbotsford about repeated break-ins at a cluster of mailboxes.  It seems break-ins and thefts are particularly common at tax time.  Identity theft and all that.

So what should we do about this?  Not just sit back and say “OK, looks like you’ve solved our mail problem” because they haven’t. I’m going to be very upset if a parcel or amil was delivered to my box and then stolen because I was at the office working when it was delivered and couldn’t get to it before the thieves.

On the positive side, they do seem to have solved their employee safety issue and for that, I DO commend them.  Employee safety is an ongoing and important concern that always needs to be revisited.  The last thing we want is a mail carrier to be hit by a moving vehicle while performing their job in our’s or any other neighborhood.

Now they just need to take a few more steps and consult with not only their employees and their experts, but with the residents, too.

Is that too much to ask?

Gatensbury Rd: Another Step Forward

As the story of the safety issues on Gatensbury Rd continues to unfold, first introduced by me here in this post, we are heartened to see that we are still making news, although no longer on the front page. SPayne11DecTCN.png

I want to personally take a moment to thank Tri-City News reporter, Sarah Payne for her excellent coverage and willingness to keep following this story with and for us.

And this excellent editorial, which was published on Dec 1st, also in the TCN, is another example of the kind of support that the community is showing for the problems we are facing.

It’s a bit ironic that it took such a small thing, the failure to deliver our mail because of one postal worker’s safety concerns, to bring such a large  issue back to light again.  But it was the hook that caught the community’s imagination; kind of like the last straw that breaks the camel’s back.

This issue first came before City Council in 2007, and was brought up again by Lori Holdenried in 2010 and both times previous, it was noted and forgotten. *(see note below)

As noted in the article pictured above, this past Tuesday, Dec 8th, a delegation of about 10 residents including Lori, myself and others both youngsters and oldsters, appeared at City Council’s monthly and last meeting of 2015 to further appeal our case for addressing the issue of safety on our section of roadway.

After our presentation, all 6 councillors and Mayor Clay had extensive questions and comments for us.  As councillor Diana Dillworth noted, our concern is valid, but without a political will to address it, it WILL be passed over again or not fully addressed.  The political reality is this; any of the solutions we are considering will cost money, a fairly substantial amount, and that means if they assign the money to our problem, it has to come from somewhere.  That somewhere is other projects that money has been budgeted and allocated to.  So there needs to be some thought and negotiation as to how to actually proceed.

We appreciate that fact.  We also know that it will not be solved overnight.  What is most important is that the safety issues of Gatensbury Rd. don’t fall off the radar screen again and fade into nothingness.  We all feel that there is a serious tragedy that is just waiting to happen and we’d like to take the ounce of prevention here instead of having to respond with a pound of cure, because such an event occurs.

To this end, we were quite pleased with 2 positive outcomes from our appearance before the Mayor and City Council:

  1. That council unanimously passed a motion to have traffic safety on our street added to the Traffic Safety Committee’s 2016 work plan
  2. That Mark Halpin, transportation planner- engineering division, met with us in the hall after the meeting to assure us that he will personally bring our concerns forward in future TSC meetings.

As they say, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” and as I personally assured the Mayor and Council, we will continue to keep squeaking!!

Thanks for listening.  Please share if you’d like to help with our squeaking 🙂


* Lori just corrected me and sent me a wonderful pdf “Moody Centre Neighborhood Traffic Study: Final Report, 2007.  I’ll be sharing some of the report’s studies and conclusions in future blogs. If you’d like a copy of it, just contact me via comments and I’ll email it to you.



Notification Letter From Canada Post

In our mailbox, yesterday! And 10 days after the fact….

Canada Post letter-39

On my way to work yesterday, I ran into a reporter from the Tri-City News, Sarah and Lori,  a neighbour, who were there to further research the situation and take pictures as a result of the copy of my letter and a phone conversation I had with Sarah.  Here’s the story that came  from their investigations!  Nicely stated.

Just to put this into perspective, the post office where they are holding our mail is about a 20 minute drive from where we live!

So, things are moving along and as they say “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”!  Question is, just what kind of grease is best in this situation?  I’m not 100% sure but I know we can’t continue as if nothing has happened and as if there is not a concern that needs to be addressed on all sides.

Re the postal delivery, I think the best solution would be to locate a cluster of mail boxes on the side of the road, central to our houses, that we could ALL walk to.  There are at least 2 locations that would work for that solution to the mail problem.

But that doesn’t address the issue re the overall safety for pedestrians who walk up and down Gatensbury Rd.  This issue is not going to go away and I will keep hounding officials until we see some kind of resolution.

Keep ya posted,



Revisiting old Boycotts – Nestle

Ever since I can remember, I’ve boycotted Nestle products.  It started back in the 1960s when I found out about how they dressed their sales people up to look like nurses to help persuade mothers in 3rd world countries to buy their infant formula to feed their babies instead of using breast milk.

I hadn’t checked in on this for many years and I thought, hey, maybe they’ve changed and smartened up and are acting in a responsible manner.

So I googled boycotts and what do you know, Nestle is still in the top 10 list of companies whose products you should boycott.  And for the same reasons.  Want more information?  Check out the info provided by the Babymilkaction organization.

If you go to their home page, you can see lists of their Canadian products.  It’s a good place to start.

You may also be one of those people that ask yourself the question “Does it really make any difference if I boycott or not?” or use that as a reason not to bother taking the time.

That’s not good enough.  Everytime we go shopping, and with every product we buy, we cast a vote.  I know that’s not how most people normally think, but it’s a fact of life.  Every purchase is a “vote” for that product to stay in the universe and a show of support for the corporation or people who make that product.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an activist or not.  Voting by purchasing is just What’s so.  So if you want to have any say in this world, boycotting can be a very effective way of doing that.  And purchasing from companies or businesses that you like is a very effective way of supporting them to stay in the world and do whatever good you perceive them doing.

So bring a little bit more awareness to how you shop.  Knowing that you have done the right thing when you have made a purchase is very empowering.

And don’t worry if your friends think you’re crazy.  You’re not.  Who you are is a socially responsible citizen that takes action to create the kind of world you want to live in.  In my world, Nestle would stop this practice.  No amount of money in my bank account would be reason enough to cause the kind of harm their marketing does to mothers and babies in these countries.  None!!

They are just Bad and Wrong.  Period!

So that’s my 2 cents regarding the Nestle Boycott.

I’ll acquaint you with some of my other boycotts in later posts.