Representatives from the housing industry are angered over Canada Post's recent decision to charge developers $200 per home to pay for mailboxes for new subdivisions.
"That's terrible," said Dawson Creek developer Pat Rorison. "Because the mail's down, they're trying to collect from developers."
In a letter sent by Canada Post to Dawson Creek city council, Jacques Côté, the Group President for Physical Delivery of Canada Post, explains that mail volumes have dropped almost 20 per cent per address over the last five years, which has led Canada Post to experience unprecedented financial losses.
To make up for this, they will now begin charging the developers for these boxes, starting this January.
Unlike other homes, newer subdivisions do not have their mail delivered door to door by postal workers. Instead, residents must go towards these community mail boxes and pick up their mail from there.
Thanks to an oil and gas boom, more and more subdivisions are being built around Dawson Creek.
Rorison said that one of his subdivisons currently has 500 potential homes, which are developed 80 lots at a time.
He said that these costs would have to go down through to additional costs to people who would buy his homes.
Rorison suggested that instead of charging developers, Canada Post should instead look at ways of cutting their own costs to make up for their budget shortfall.
He is not alone in his criticism of Canada Post.
The Canadian Home Builders Association President Ron Olson also criticized the move in a public letter.
"[The new fee] contradicts the clear commitment made by the Corporation at that time that, given that community mail boxes benefit Canada Post, and not new home buyers, Canada Post would be fully responsible for their installation and maintenance," he wrote. "This was at the core of the agreement between Canada Post and our industry when community mail boxes were introduced."
He also said that those purchasing a home for the first time would suffer as a result.
"New homebuyers are not only having to accept a lower standard of mail service from Canada Post, they are now being required to subsidize this lower standard of service."
In a press release, Canada Post defended its decision.
“As part of a modern residential development's streetscape, CMPBs are no different than roads, streetlights, and fire hydrants, or such infrastructure as storm and wastewater sewerage, and utilities such as electricity, natural gas, water, and telephone and cable,” it wrote. “Developers routinely bear much of the cost of these installations.”