Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise to discuss the question I asked in the House on February 28 regarding Canada Post.
Over the past year, many community mailboxes have been installed. In many cities and municipalities, mail delivery was completely halted, and we have seen these boxes imposed on communities everywhere, without any consultation. The cities and citizens were not given an opportunity to have their say.
During the election campaign, this was a very popular issue. The government promised to restore home mail delivery and return the service to the people. However, the government is now backing down from its commitment and has imposed a moratorium. Everyone is wondering what is going to happen. Again today, staff at my constituency office in Jonquière had a visit from someone with reduced mobility who is having difficulty accessing his community mailbox, in light of today's harsh weather conditions. We are having freezing rain.
These situations are unacceptable. In 2016, there is no reason why we could not provide home mail delivery service to Canadians. Canada Post is a profitable public service and we must make it accessible to everyone. We are the only G7 country that does not provide home mail delivery service to its citizens. That is unacceptable.
There are many ways to make mail service profitable. For example, Canada Post could introduce postal banking to generate additional revenue. It could also promote same-day delivery in order to increase revenue. There is no reason why we could not provide home mail delivery to Canadians.
The public has raised a number of concerns, for example about safety. The community mailboxes were installed any which way and without consultation. In some places it is even dangerous because the boxes are on hillsides. No thought was given to people with reduced mobility or our young families, for whom it is difficult to get the mail.
It is also a matter of service. The government was talking about declaring a moratorium and holding consultations. However, what will the consultation strategy be? That is what I want to ask the minister this evening.
I think that considering how to consult Canadians is a big issue. Will they be consulted randomly, or will the government go directly to municipalities and cities to hear from mayors and residents?
How do people with reduced mobility live without home delivery? They already have a hard time getting around to do their errands and pick up their medications, and now they are being forced to go pick up their mail. They could get mail delivered to their homes, as was the case before. In fact, the letter carriers were a comforting presence to these individuals.
This is a big concern for me because the government is going back on its promise. I want to know how the consultations will be held and whether they will be held directly in municipalities, with groups across Canada, including mayors.