Letter to Canada Post

September 2, 2014

Mr. Deepak Chopra
President & Chief Executive Officer
Canada Post
2701 Riverside Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0B1

Dear Mr. Chopra:

Canadians with disabilities oppose Canada Post’s new model of mail delivery as we believe that door-to-door mail delivery is an essential service.  Furthermore, the decision to make doctors the gatekeeper for accommodations is a backward step as medicalizing access both establishes new barriers and reinforces negative stereotypes.  Consider the following:

  • Cost – Obtaining doctors' letters requires people with disabilities to expend time and resources.  Gatekeeping reduces the time doctors have for treating health issues.
  • Maintaining an imbalance of power – Medical professionals will be benefiting monetarily; persons with disabilities will be paying an additional fee to gain access to a service nondisabled Canadians take for granted.
  • Perpetuating stereotypes – The proposal reinforces misconceptions that persons with disabilities are sick, are a societal problem, or will seek to cheat the system thus requiring mechanisms to prevent cheating such as having persons with disabilities prove the legitimacy of their request for accommodation.

Respectfully we remind you of the Supreme Court of Canada's admonition against the creation of new barriers, which was made in Council of Canadians with Disabilities v. VIA Rail Canada Inc., [2007] 1 S.C.R. 650, 2007 SCC 15.

The purpose of accommodation is to overcome the history of exclusion experienced by persons with disabilities and to make services equally accessible to persons with and without disabilities.  Unfortunately, many Canadian institutions retain outmoded practices when providing services to persons with disabilities and these should not be replicated in new service models.

It is within the organizations of persons with disabilities where you will find a wealth of expertise to assist you in developing an accommodation that is in keeping with the goal of an accessible and inclusive Canada.  Through the Council of Canadians with Disabilities' Member Organizations and Independent Living Centre networks, persons with disabilities are the ones developing accessible and inclusive service delivery models.  In short, nothing should be done without consultation with those who have lived experience.

The disability community remains committed to the continuation of door-to-door postal service for all Canadians because this model is inclusive and does not create new barriers for persons with disabilities.


Council of Canadians with Disabilities,
BC Coalition of People with Disabilities,
Saskatchewan Voice of People with Disabilities Inc.,
Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities Inc.,
Citizens with Disabilities - Ontario
Confédération des organismes de personnes handicapées du Québec,
PEI Council of People with Disabilities,
Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities,
Coalition of Persons with Disabilities Newfoundland and Labrador,
NWT Disabilities Council,
Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians,
DisAbled Women's Network Canada - Réseau d' Action des Femmes Handicapées du Canada,
National Educational Association of Disabled Students,
People First of Canada,
Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada