Ontario Civil

Constitutional Law


Insofar as by-law gave city control over installation of community mailboxes, it was invalid or inoperative

Applicant, federal Crown corporation, decided to convert to community mailboxes. Respondent city passed by-law that effectively stopped applicant’s implementation of transition from mail delivery to private homes to that of community mailboxes. Applicant maintained that, insofar as by-law gave city control over installation of community mailboxes, it was invalid or inoperative. Application granted. By virtue of its vagueness and uncertainty, by-law was inapplicable, inoperative or otherwise without effect in respect of community mailboxes. Community mailbox was within ambit of Mail Receptacle Regulation (Ont.). By-law would give city final say of location of community mailboxes after permit application process that had no relationship to temporal exigencies that faced applicant. Insofar as by-law sought to create permit application process determining location of community mailboxes, it was of no effect. By bringing in location of community mailboxes within permit application process, pith and substance of by-law was encroaching upon exclusive domain of applicant and was ultra vires city’s jurisdiction. By-law was significant serious restriction of applicant’s federal power to locate receptacles where it deemed appropriate, as part of mandate to receive, store and distribute mail. By-law was inapplicable and inoperative or without effect in respect of applicant’s community mailboxes.

Canada Post Corp. v. Hamilton (City) (Jun. 11, 2015, Ont. S.C.J., Whitten J., File No. 15-52723) 254 A.C.W.S. (3d) 205.

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