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Canada Post on the hot seat for proposed changes to rural mailboxes

Diane Paterson received a letter in the mail from Canada Post stating she must raise the height of her rural mailbox by more than a foot by Jan. 25. The base of her mailbox, which currently sits at about 28 inches above the roadway, should be at about 42 inches. - JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS
Diane Paterson received a letter in the mail from Canada Post stating she must raise the height of her rural mailbox by more than a foot by Jan. 25. The base of her mailbox, which currently sits at about 28 inches above the roadway, should be at about 42 inches.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS

Some residents in rural Chilliwack are hopping mad about changes to their mailboxes that Canada Post is demanding in the dead of winter.

And if the changes are not made by Jan. 25 their mail won’t be delivered.

Diane Paterson on Chilliwack Central said she got a notice from Canada Post this week telling her to raise her mailbox to 42 inches — or else.

“If I don’t get my mailbox raised by Jan. 25, then they don’t deliver my mail,” she said.

But the 64-year-old wondered how Canada Post expects seniors to dig a hole in the frozen ground in the middle of winter.

“This is just insane what’s going on here,” she said.

However, it appears that Canada Post is now backing off in Paterson’s case, and she will be able to wait until the spring thaw to raise her mailbox.

Paterson did not know how many other residents received notices from Canada Post, and whether they will be getting the same “spring thaw” notice.

Canada Post officials in Chilliwack and Ottawa did not return phone calls to answer why the changes are needed and how many residents are affected.

But Dolores Roberts on Prairie Central said she was told unofficially that 135 notices have been sent to residents living on Prairie Central, Chilliwack Central, Annis Road and Gibson Road.

“I’m one of the 135 they’ve singled out,”  she said.

But in Roberts’ case the height of the mailbox was not the issue, but rather installing magnets so the mailbox can be opened by the mailman without getting out of his car.

“I found out it’s for when the regular Canada Post delivery people are on vacation, and (replacement drivers) don’t have right-hand vehicles like the regular mailman,” she said.

The replacement drivers will have a long pole to deliver the mail without getting out of the truck, she said.

“I won’t get my mail delivered, if I don’t have (the magnets) put in by Jan. 29,” she said.

But the company where Roberts bought her $400 mailbox in October told her the magnets won’t be available until February.

“Canada Post should be paying for installation of these magnets,” she said.

Paterson said she’s been picking up her mail for 17 years with no complaints from her letter carrier, and she left him a Christmas gift this year in her mailbox.

“The mailbox wasn’t too low for him to reach in and get his gift,” she said.

rfreeman@theprogress.com

twitter.com/paperboy2

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