More ferries, same poor mail service

  • May. 20, 2009 4:00 p.m.

There will be double the number of ferry sailings this summer – but our mail service will remain just as slow as ever. While BC Ferries ramps up to six sailings a week for the busy summer season, the mail will continue to arrive and leave only three times a week, says Canada Post spokesperson Lillian Au. Ms Au said the additional sailings do not carry commercial traffic and therefore it is not possible for the mail to go on them. “What I can tell you is yes, we are always looking for ways to improve our delivery service,” she said, before launching into an explanation of why there will be no improvement in service to the islands. “Unfortunately, the extra sailings are not commercial sailings… We cannot put the mail on these sailings.” In any case, Canada Post can meet its delivery standards with the three times a week service, she said. Also, Canada Post has not changed its number of weekly mail shipments in past summers, despite the increased ferry service, she said. The difference this summer, of course, is that Canada Post stopped bringing mail on and off the islands by air in September when it stopped using Air Canada across the country. Other parts of the country are now receiving air service with new contractors, but not the islands. Ms Au repeated that there will be no change in service this summer, despite the additional sailings, because “it’s always been the case” that these sailings can’t take commercial freight. However, BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said there is absolutely no restriction on commercial traffic or freight on any sailing. “We’re happy to take any and all commercial traffic,” she said. Queen Charlotte mayor Carol Kulesha said this latest news is simply more of the same attitude from Canada Post. The slow mail service has been a tremendous hardship for local businesses and individuals and they deserve better, she said. To that end, she is planning to distribute a petition island-wide which will be sent on to Ottawa once enough signatures have been collected. “We need everyone’s help,” she said. “This is not something we can live with.”