Moncton council takes steps toward bylaw restricting flyer delivery

Moncton city councillors voted Monday to instruct staff to begin drafting a bylaw to restrict flyer delivery..

Three of Brunswick News Inc's (BNI) senior staff presented to council, asking that a by-law not be drafted. Instead, they asked council to give them time to improve flyer delivery methods.

Tori Weldon/CBC
Tori Weldon/CBC

Mike Power, publisher and head of advertising at BNI said, "It's important for us, it's a big part of our business."

He said four million items a month are delivered in Greater Moncton, but anyone who doesn't want the bundle can call a number published in the flyer to opt out.

The city has received complaints about flyer delivery. Frederic LaForge said, despite his best efforts, he couldn't get the flyers to stop coming.

He even started a petition asking it be made easier for people to stop receiving the bundle of flyers delivered in a plastic bag.

"I kept receiving the flyers. I tried to opt out, calls, emails, they kept coming back."

Coun. Blair Lawrence said his issue with the automatic delivery system is that the bags of paper just sit at the end of some driveways for days.

"It seems like the flyers are thrown out of a car window into a driveway, and off they go."

Coun. Brian Hicks added "As one resident put it to me, they looked on this like drive-by littering."

Jim Ramsay, director of distribution for BNI, said that's not what is supposed to happen. He said drivers are instructed to put the bundles in a resident's mail box when it's possible, and if there isn't one, "place (it) as neatly as possible on the property."

Coun. Susan Edgett, argued against drafting a bylaw because, "basically I look at it as us becoming the complaint handling department for one company and that concerns me."

Tori Weldon/CBC
Tori Weldon/CBC

Ramsay said he would prefer to work with council on any issues that arise, rather than be bound by a by-law.

He said BNI monitors complaints and has a good track record.

"We received 22 complaints of unwanted deliveries in the last 3 months, of 268 000 deliveries we made during that same time period."

But LaForge disagrees.

"I think if any research needs to be done it needs to be independent. Are they capable of policing their own business? I would say it's proven that they can't do it."