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Postal uncertainty delivered to seniors

A number of Rota Villa residents have some likely challenges ahead in terms of getting their mail when home delivery is discontinued.  - File
A number of Rota Villa residents have some likely challenges ahead in terms of getting their mail when home delivery is discontinued.
— image credit: File

The statement was issued by Canada Post on Wednesday, December 11 and reverberated across the country… that home delivery of mail was to be phased out over the next five years.

The impact of the announcement was not as dramatic as it may have once been, what with the majority of Canadians already getting their mail by other means. But the measure angers and disappoints the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, as well as a number of residents who disagree with the coming cuts in service.

Comments from the head of the Castlegar CUPW local were not available as of Dec. 13, but her Trail counterpart Ed Evans was forthcoming with opinions on the announcement a day earlier.

"In a small community like this it's devastating," said Evans of local 842. "For our employees, for sure, and also for the public we've service for years. A lot of them we know on a personal basis. We have a lot of older folks we look out for, besides just putting the mail in the box."

Here is an excerpt from the announcement relating to Canada Post's Five Point Action Plan and the alternative to home delivery of mail.

"Community mailboxes: The one third of Canadian households that still receive their mail at their door will be converted to community mailbox delivery over the next five years. (The other two thirds already receive their mail and parcels through community mailboxes, grouped or lobby mailboxes or curbside rural mailboxes.) Community mailboxes offer individually locked mail and small packet compartments as well as larger locked compartments for securely receiving parcels."

The postal union, has an expectedly different outlook on the situation, and doesn't intend to accept the changes quietly.

"The Canadian Union of Postal Workers will work with our community allies and fight back against Canada Post management’s unilateral decision to cut delivery services," states CUPW National President Denis Lemelin in a Dec. press release.

As for the public, senior citizens are the first consideration in terms of residents being inconvenienced by the coming changes. In Castlegar a lady named Joan Hall was reached for comment on how she and other seniors will cope.

"I live at Rota Villa and I'm currently getting home delivery. With me, at the moment, I could get along (with a community box) because I do drive," said Mrs. Hall. "But you never know how long that'll be."

Mrs. Hall feels she's an exception among Rota Villa residents.

"There's so many people who can't, even at the Villa. There's a number of people here who do not drive and it will be very difficult for them."

As for what changes to expect and when they may occur within the announced "five year" time frame,

Hall said she had no idea.

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