Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 2015
Source: Standard, The (St. Catharines, CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 St. Catharines Standard
Author: Linda Crabtree
Page: C2


There are three topics that really get my blood going: the
government's treatment of medical marijuana, community mailboxes and
the Canadian Medical Association on doctor-assisted suicide.

I'll begin with community mailboxes. My husband often mails our
letters at one of these boxes and in taking a good look at it, and
being on an electric scooter unable to stand, I had some questions for
Canada Post. Anik Losier, spokeswoman for Canada Post, answered them
via e-mail.

Q: What provision has been made for elderly people or those with
disabilities who cannot get to a mailbox?

A: Since the beginning of the conversion program in 2014, we have
implemented a robust accommodation program that aims to find a
solution for everyone who may not be able to access their mailbox. We
consulted with experts in human rights, as well as organizations
representing the rights of elderly and people with mobility issues and
they were unanimous on one key aspect: this is not a one-size fits all
approach. We work with each individual to find a solution that will
meet their needs. If anyone has concerns about the ability to get to
their mailbox, we ask that they contact us via the 1-844 number (a
dedicated customer service number for those who are changing their
mode of delivery). Immediately, their case is transferred to our
accommodation group experts who will work with each individual.

Q: If you can get to the mailbox but can't hold a key or grab your
mail from the box, what then?

A: There are a number of solutions available, including a larger key
handle for those who may have trouble with the little key and trays to
pull the mail (so you don't have to reach inside the box).

Q: If you can't reach the mailbox assigned to you?

A: We also can change which box you are assigned to, depending on your
height and mobility or we can redirect the mail to a loved one or a
nearby postal outlet (inside a pharmacy, for example). These are
merely examples. Ultimately, our job is to find a solution with
everyone to ensure that they have access to their mail.

Q: If you can't reach the slot at the top of the mailbox to mail a
letter? Anik sent a picture of a mailbox with a lowered compartment
for parcels that will receive letters. We don't have that here. I know
I can barely reach much less push the letter into the slot on the top
of the mailbox. Without a decent grip the slightest breeze could see
my letters go flying down the street. And what about the snowplow and
ice? So many of us rarely get out during the winter months.

I would be much more comfortable with these boxes if I knew that
somewhere down the road I won't be paying someone to pick up and
deliver my mail. But as things are right now I can see that being a
very real possibility. We will not only be paying close to a dollar
for every letter we mail but we'll be paying someone to pick it up for
us. And I always thought that the mail was something sacred that you
didn't fool with. Silly me.

Now medical marijuana: The government has allowed people who use
medical marijuana to possess it in various forms such as oils,
cookies, creams and whatever else works for them, however, only
recently have they allowed dispensaries to sell and growers to
manufacture oils. That's a very good thing because oils high in the
non-hallucinogenic CBD have proven to be very helpful to those
experiencing seizures and nerve pain. But how about allowing
dispensaries to sell marijuana in baked goods, butters, creams -
anything to get people away from having to inhale it into their lungs.

Assisted suicide? The Canadian Medical Association suggests that
persons wanting to be put out of their misery must request help twice,
in writing, two weeks apart. Unable to speak, to see, hold a pen? Come
on! They aren't thinking about the person wanting to end their agony;
they're protecting themselves. Ask us. Please. We'll tell you how we
want to die.
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MAP posted-by: Matt