Elderly couple goes without mail delivery for over 5 weeks over safety issue

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Elderly couple goes without mail delivery for over 5 weeks over safety issue

An elderly St. Boniface couple has gone at least five weeks without getting mail delivery after the pathway leading to their house was deemed unsafe to walk on.

Edgar and Lorraine Hupe, who have lived in the home for 40 years, say the dispute began with a knock on their door one morning in March.

"We answered the door and it was the mailman, and he says, 'You've got to do something about that ice.' I said, 'What the hell do you want me to do with my ice?'" said Edgar, who is 78.

"And that's how everything started. So from that day, he quit delivering the mail."

The ice has since melted, but the Hupes still aren't getting their mail. Instead, they have to go to the Canada Post office to pick it up.

Canada Post told CBC News the issue isn't the ice.

"We've looked into this matter and can confirm that delivery to the customer was interrupted on March 21 due to a safety concern," a spokesperson told CBC in an emailed statement.

"It was not due to ice, but related to the state of the customer's sidewalk and where the box is located. We have met with the customer and are working on a resolution to ensure the safety of our people and resume delivery.​"

The Hupes quibble with that date, saying the service stopped on March 14, a week earlier.

Lorraine said she's asked her granddaughter's boyfriend to fix the sidewalk leading to their front door. She got three estimates last year for repairs to the front walkway and the one in the back of her home. One quote was around $9,000.

Near the front steps, there's a section of the paved walkway that's cracked in multiple places and part of it protrudes about five centimetres higher than the rest of the walkway.

She added many of the front walkways in the area are in the same condition as hers. 

In the meantime, she said the Canada Post representative they met with recommended they hang a mailbox on a tree in the yard that can be accessed by walking on the grass. 

Lorraine said she was initially upset by the issue, but felt better after picking up her mail.

"It stressed me out because I spent a few sleepless nights," she said. "But now I've been [to Canada Post], got my mail, I think it's real funny."

She's not crazy about the idea of hanging a mailbox on her tree, though.