Port post office may close Wednesdays

  • Wed Jul 9th, 2014 5:00am
  • News

The union representing Canadian postmasters says it needs to hear from Port residents as soon as possible if they have concerns about a proposal to close the village’s post office on Wednesdays. Barb Lincoln, president of the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association BC and Yukon branch, said Canada Post sent information about the proposed change in hours to her a couple of weeks ago. She was scheduled to meet with Canada Post on July 9 to talk about the proposal. Ms Lincoln said Canada Post is cutting hours at small post offices all over Canada, but Port is the only one she’s seen where the it’s planning to close completely on a weekday and extend Saturday hours. “This is the very first one in Canada,” she said. “I was surprised.” She’s received two letters from Port so far outlining concerns about a Wednesday closing. Both said Wednesday is a bad day to close as it is the cut-off day for mail to make the Thursday ferry. Ms Lincoln said the information she received from Canada Post said the change in hours would allow the corporation to eliminate one part-time job in Port. That job is vacant right now, she said. Post offices in Masset and Charlotte have also been affected by cutbacks at Canada Post, she said, with part-time workers seeing reduced hours but no change to the hours they are open to the public. The Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association sent a flyer to Port residents to inform them about the proposed change. Council members discussed the situation Monday night, and also heard from a member of the public. Wendy Quinn said she was opposed to closing the post office on Wednesdays. She said she relies on mail service as she doesn’t use email, and she knows lots of residents in the same position. “The post office is to me an important public service,” Ms Quinn said. “Maybe reduce the hours but don’t close for a whole day.” Council voted to ask Canada Post for more info and to tell the corporation that they’d like to be consulted before changes are made. Canada Post media relations manager Carley Smith told the Observer that post office hours all over Canada are being streamlined to save money. “We are reviewing our entire retail network and adjusting the hours to reflect when our customers are actually coming in to do business with us,” she wrote in an email. “In some cases we shortened the hours but in other cases we actually extended the hours into the evenings we found had the most traffic.” Ms Smith said Canada Post is consulting the union before making a decision about the hours, but no direct consultation with the community is planned. “The consultation is with the union. Any changes that are made are directly related to a review in customer traffic patterns,” she wrote in response to a question from the Observer. “Customers will continue to access a full range of services and products at this post office – there will be no changes to the services we offer.”