Received a newspaper you didn't want? There's not much Canada Post can do
A free newspaper is causing a stir in Waterloo Region and beyond.
In early January, The Epoch Times began showing up in mailboxes unsolicited.
The polarizing paper has been the subject of controversy before due to its sharp criticism of China and other right-wing issues.
In the paper's free spring edition, it ran a story with the headline “How the Chinese Communist Party Endangered the World” that accused China of covering up the COVID-19 pandemic.
On its website, The Epoch Times describes itself as a paper founded "in response to communist repression and censorship in China." It said it uses "truth and tradition" as its "guiding light."
Some people who receive the paper say it’s stoking the fires of discrimination.
“I am all about free speech and voices, but the nature of this paper is so inflammatory and so filled with extremely bias information that I had to question whether this wasn’t impinging on human rights in general,” said Alanna King, who started a petition against the delivery of the publication in April of 2020.
In the petition, King states “As Canada Post customers, and members of the public, we should not have hate speech delivered to our mailboxes." It continues “only the Canadian Federal Government has the power to make this change by declaring The Epoch Times persecuting of Chinese people.”
So far nearly 8,000 people have signed the petition.
"What I mind is that it's widespread on a national level on what's supposed to be a public service," King said. "I worry that people will say that, because it's in that old-school newspaper print, that it will seem more legitimate."
King is not the only one fighting against the delivery of the paper.
Ramiro Sepulveda, a Canada Post letter carrier in Regina, Sask. has refused to deliver the paper on multiple occasions.
“They asked me three times whether I was committed to delivering this flyer, and I said 'No I don't consider it a flyer, it’s a published newspaper that spits lies,'" he said.
Despite the objections, it’s unlikely anything will change after the court ruling on this matter.
“As Canada's postal administration, Canada Post is obligated to deliver any mail that is properly prepared and paid for, unless it is considered non-mailable matter," a statement from Canada Post said in part. "The Courts have told Canada Post that its role is not to act as the censor of mail or to determine the extent of freedom of expression in Canada. This is an important distinction between Canada Post and private sector delivery companies."
"Any views we may have about the content do not change our obligation to deliver. Any further questions about the publication should be directed to the publisher,” said Valerie Chartrand, who worked in media relations with Canada Post.
They say if a customer wants to stop receiving unaddressed mail, they should contact Canada Post customer service at 1-800-267-1177.
CTV Kitchener reached out to The Epoch Times for comment, but has not heard back.