Town Hall meeting – termination of postal home delivery announced by Canada Post

9 04 2014

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Hello to Kitchissippi Community group friends,

I am contacting you all, quite belatedly, to let you know about an open 7pm Town Hall meeting scheduled to take place tomorrow night at the Hintonburg Community Centre. The meeting, organized by Kitchissippi residents involved in a group called Solidarity Against Austerity, will feature a panel discussion about the proposed termination of postal home delivery announced by Canada Post Corporation in December. The organizing group is strongly opposed to this proposal, and we are convinced that most Kitchissippi residents – and most Canadians – share this view. Our challenge is that the proposal was announced amidst a great deal of unclear or inaccurate information about the situation at Canada Post, and so a first priority for us is to correct the record and generate more serious discussion about what is happening – and what we might do about it.

I do apologize for the very late notice to you all about this event. The planning for the Town Hall was done very quickly and I only just today was provided with the contact information for each of your organizations (apart from HCA, of which I am a member).

I am hoping that you might consider sharing this note and/or the notice attached below to your respective executives or even membership email lists if you consider it to be of interest. To be clear, the idea of this Town Hall is to bring the discussion about an issue that affects everyone in Canada down to the community – or Ward – level. One of the advantages of this is that it allows a discussion to take place among neighbours and members of the same local community. Another is that it allows us to take stock of the leadership that our own elected leaders are exercising, including at the municipal level. Just so you know, we are told that some 32 different cities across Canada have passed resolutions or made statements expressing some degree of opposition to the proposal to terminate our home delivery. While the cities of Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal are on that list, the City of Ottawa is not. In the view of the event organizers, we would like to know why – and we hope that the Town Hall will be an opportunity to discuss the issue in a more informed way, and to find answers to this question. Beyond this, we also hope to discuss other ways that we might consider to amplify the voices of those of us who prefer to retain our home delivery, and discuss ways to enhance postal services.

While our organizing group is a small number composed of volunteers only, we have had some success in getting the word out about the Town Hall. We have placed a listing for it in the last two issues of Kitchissippi Times, and also requested that the HCA distribute the notice attached below on its email list. There has also been some street postering on Wellington, some leafletting, and a Facebook event group. We expect a good turnout tomorrow — but we recognize that our promotion efforts were focused in the neighbourhoods that the main organizers actually live (in and near Hintonburg). The Kitchissippi Times will be sending a reporter, and we hope other media may also decide to cover it.

Finally, you may find it of interest that we have built into the Town Hall a “Forum” period (after the main panel presentations) during which current elected leaders and all nominated candidates for the Ward 15 seat on City Council will be welcomed to speak or to submit written comments about the issues under discussion for reading aloud. I can confirm (as of today) that both of the two nominated non-incumbent candidates for Council (Jeff Leiper and Dovi Chein) plan to attend, and we have also received written statements from both Mayor Watson and Councillor Hobbs. The written statements will be read aloud to the Town Hall. We think this will make for a very dynamic and interesting event.

Thanks very much. If any of you have any questions about any of this, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at the phone or email below.

Kevin Skerrett

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