Restore postal service, says Masset council

  • Nov. 12, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The village of Masset has posted a letter to newly-appointed Transport Minister John Baird, asking him to instruct Canada Post to restore the islands mail service to its previous level. “In recent weeks we have received a number of complaints from residents about the shocking decline in service from Canada Post, where mail is now only received three times a week weather permitting,” mayor Barry Pages wrote. “… Everyone on the islands that relied on the postal service for critical delivery of medications, legal documents and regular business and personal correspondence has been left scrambling to try and find alternate solutions. This change has affected residents financially in the form of increased costs for time critical deliveries, interest charges for late payments and in some cases even lost business.” Mr. Pages said he recently received a Visa bill which had taken 17 days to get to Masset, leaving him only three days before payment was due. People who don’t have access to electronic banking are going to end up paying high-interest credit card charges, he said, because there is simply no way to get payment back before the deadline using Canada Post. Councillor Ed Woode has had his own experience with the downgraded mail service, saying it recently took 10 days to get documents from Victoria to Masset, and 11 days from Grand Forks. “It should not take that long,” he said. The mail service changed Sept. 15 after Canada Post stopped using Air Canada to transport mail all over the country. The situation has affected Haida Gwaii more than other places because now the only way for mail to get on and off the islands is by ferry. In winter, the ferry travels only three times a week, and sometimes less, if the weather is bad.