Snail mail could get sluggish

Post offices in Watson Lake and Dawson City could soon be facing bigger lineups and slower mail delivery.

Post offices in Watson Lake and Dawson City could soon be facing bigger lineups and slower mail delivery.

As early as February 1, Canada Post plans to reduce hours in 44 post offices across the Yukon and BC, impacting 72 Canada Post employees.

“This will result in longer wait times and slower delivery,” said Canadian Postmasters and Associates Association vice-president Carolyn Elliott.

Canada Post hasn’t reviewed each post office individually, she added.

“The corporation is just looking at where it can cut because of the collective agreement.”

Canada Post is claiming the cuts are due to declining revenue and mail volume, said Elliott.

“But that’s a blanket statement.

“And in rural Canada we’re not seeing it as much.”

For many small communities, the post office is the only federal presence, and many rural areas still rely on mail to communicate, she said.

Watson Lake has one full-time employee and two part-time staff, while Dawson City has two full-time staff and two part-time employees.

The proposed two-hour-a-week reductions would affect one part-time employee in each town.

Before the cuts can come into effect, Canada Post has to meet with the postmasters association.

“But even if we disagree, Canada Post can still go ahead,” said Elliott.

And there is concern this might just be the first round of cuts, she said.

The postmasters association is urging Canadians to appeal to Canada Post and federal minister responsible Rob Merrifield.

“The corporation still listens to its customers,” she said.

“Occasionally Canada Post tries to close a post office and the residents speak out and that’s enough to keep it open.”

Contact Genesee Keevil at

gkeevil@yukon-news.com

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