A Canada Post truck is seen illegally parked in downtown Toronto on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. The company is closing in on $1 million a year in parking fines as it struggles with increasingly congested streets. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel)

Canada Post racking up close to $1 million a year in parking fines, data show

Crown corporation has paid out almost $7.5 million in parking fines over the past decade

Canada Post is racking up close to $1 million annually in parking tickets as drivers struggle to navigate increasingly congested city streets, data show.

The information, obtained by The Canadian Press through freedom of information requests, indicates the bulk of the citations are in and around Toronto.

“To meet the needs of Canadians, our employees have to routinely park their vehicles,” said Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton. “With the concentration of addresses in urban downtown cores and a rising demand for pickups and deliveries, this can cause challenges, not just for Canada Post but for all delivery companies.”

Data show the Crown corporation has paid out almost $7.5 million in parking fines over the past decade. The worst year was in 2016 with $943,293 paid, slightly more than last year’s $914,831, and almost quadruple the $289,908 recorded in 2009.

Under the federal Canada Post Act, the corporation has, with some exceptions, the “sole and exclusive privilege of collecting, transmitting and delivering letters to the addressee thereof within Canada.” The corporation has a fleet of almost 13,000 vehicles that delivered close to eight billion pieces of mail last year.

Eric Holmes, a spokesman for the City of Toronto, said mailbox placements are approved with the “general preference” they not be placed along high-volume streets.

“Illegally parking, stopping, or standing a vehicle is dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists and creates congestion,” Holmes said. “Enforcement of parking violations is one way the City of Toronto helps deter this behaviour.”

Hamilton said the corporation was an “active participant” in partnerships with Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver that aim to ease congestion, especially in downtown cores and along major access routes.

“We also review our operations to make changes, such as adjusting pickup and delivery times, where possible,” Hamilton said. “It’s a bigger discussion than simply designating more delivery zones.”

READ MORE: Canada Post has unfair advantage in distributing flyers — news group

Overall, the fines are barely a rounding error for Canada Post, which lost $270 million last year on revenue of $6.6 billion dollars — three-quarters of the corporation’s total revenues. The company initially refused a June 2016 request for the ticket data, citing “commercial sensitivity.”

It relented in June after belated intervention from the information commissioner and released the total value of tickets by region paid from 2009 until mid-2016. Asked for updated figures, the country’s largest retail network insisted on receiving a new formal access-to-information request before providing them.

All regions of Canada show ticketing of branded Canada Post vehicles, but most citations are in major urban centres, where thousands of mail addresses can be concentrated in a few blocks. Despite the daunting logistics of pickup and delivery, a Toronto traffic police spokesman was blunt:

“This is an easy one,” Sgt. Brett Moore said. “There is no preferential treatment for Canada Post.”

In general, Canada Post’s drivers are on the hook for traffic violations. However, company policy makes allowance for parking tickets — with an excuse — except in designated accessibility spots.

Emilie Tobin, with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, said the idea of parking exemptions for Canada Post vehicles is a complex topic given that the company is federally regulated but drivers have to follow varying provincial and municipal bylaws.

“In some areas, it is difficult to find a legal parking space, so our members do have to park illegally and some do incur parking tickets,” Tobin said. “It’s not an ideal system and postal workers would prefer that routes could be structured in a way that allowed for legal parking 100 per cent of the time.”

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Canada Post to unveil Leonard Cohen commemorative stamp to mark late singer’s birthday

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay jogger barely escapes bruin attack

Man spends two hours up in tree, bear not located

Young farmers find a home through land-matching program

Young Agrarians links would-be farmers with landowners who have land to spare

Morning start: A history of the Arrow Lakes

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Wednesday, May 27

Restorative pole project underway in Edgewood

The pole was made almost 50 years ago to pay respect to local First Nations

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Risk of COVID-19 low in schools, Interior Health states

Medical Health Officer reassures parents as some children and staff head back to class June 1

Most Read