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Ontario mother's petition garners support

CAMBRIDGE, Ont. - An online petition urging Canada Post to reconsider its decision to end door-to-door delivery in urban centres has garnered more than 120,000 signatures.

The petition was started by Susan Dixon, a mother of two young boys from Cambridge, Ont., on Dec. 15.

"My youngest has cerebral palsy and uses a walker or wheelchair to get around," Dixon says in the petition. "For me, Canada Post's decision would mean having to bundle them up and struggle through the snow with a wheelchair just to get our mail."

Canada Post announced some dramatic changes to its operations last month, including plans to phase out the age-old tradition of home delivery in urban areas. The company said that without postal carriers travelling by foot, it would save a significant amount of money.

"My hope is that they change their minds and really consider what they are going to be doing to people with disabilities," said Dixon, whose late grandfather — a Second World War veteran — was a mailman.

The petition — posted on the website change.org — draws attention to anyone in Canada who has limited mobility, such as the elderly or disabled, and the possibly dangerous effects this change could have on their lives.

Only 25 people had signed the petition shortly after it was posted last month, but Dixon said the recent Arctic cold that blanketed most of Central and Eastern Canada has likely reminded people how awful the winter months can be — prompting more than 70,000 Canadians to add their signatures between Dec. 19 and Dec. 23.

With the help of organizers at change.org, Dixon said she will soon be bringing the petition to several executives at Canada Post, including chief executive Deepak Chopra and to the Minister of Transportation Lisa Raitt.

"We're certainly going to watch that (petition) and any feedback that people put forward," said Jon Hamilton, a spokesman for Canada Post.

"When we hear about Susan and her issues, we hear those loud and clear and we know we need to be sensitive and understanding in our approach to changes," he said.

"But the status quo is not going to change."

Hamilton said that Canada Post is trying to maintain service to all Canadians but that they need to find innovative ways to do it in order to remain self-sufficient.

Canada Post had projected an annual loss of $1 billion dollars a year by 2020 if they were to continue with the door-to-door delivery.

_By Angela Hennessy in Toronto.

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