The City of Montreal is demanding that Ottawa intervene to prevent Canada Post from distributing the Publisac, a measure that would allow TC Transcontinental to circumvent its municipal by-law aimed at limiting the distribution of the famous bag of advertising inserts.
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The elected officials unanimously adopted a resolution to this effect, Monday, during the city council of the metropolis.
“For us, this is absolutely unacceptable. This is not acceptable on the principle of ecological transition. For me, that goes against the principle of municipal autonomy. Our regulations, we do not make them for fun, “exasperated the mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante.
Last April, the City adopted an “opt-in” regulation under which only addresses that request it will continue to receive the Publisac. The measure is expected to come into force next May.
However, at the beginning of the month, our Investigation Office revealed that TC Transcontinental, the manager of the Publisac, would have entered into an agreement with Canada Post in order to circumvent the regulations. The Crown corporation would receive the mandate to deliver its advertising brochures this fall.
“I repeat! Those who want it will get it and those who don’t want it won’t. But we cannot force people to receive advertising material,” added Ms. Plante.
During a public consultation in 2019, 82% of Montrealers were in favor of the “opt-in” formula. The Plante administration wishes to remind Canada Post of this proportion, believing that it has the population behind it.
“I can’t believe that in 2022, we have to fight to enforce a desire to tackle waste,” said Ms. Plante, indignantly, and said she was worried that a municipal by-law could thus to be “scorned”.
Currently, approximately 800,000 Publisacs are distributed each week in Montreal, or more than 40 million per year.
“If the federal government does not intervene with Canada Post, it would be opposing the will of thousands of Montrealers, and a setback in our efforts to reduce the materials generated,” said Stéphanie Valenzuela, on the side of the opposition.
In addition to its agreement with Canada Post, TC Transcontinental launched a lawsuit against the City of Montreal in June to bring the court to rule on the legality of the regulations.
Last April, however, the Superior Court ruled, in another TC Transcontinental lawsuit, in favor of the City of Mirabel after the municipality adopted a similar by-law in 2019.