Canada-wide changes proposed by Canada Post that will see local mail rerouted from rural communities to sorting centres in cities have drawn the ire of local NDP Member of Parliament Alex Atamanenko (BC Southern Interior).
“This completely defies all logic,” said Atamanenko.
“In this riding, the result will be that some letters will travel over 1,200 kilometres, round trip, for processing in Vancouver on the weekends and back again prior to delivery on Monday.”
Cloaked in the mantle of efficiency and cost-cutting, Canada Post, which has operated at a profit for several years, has yet to offer a satisfactory explanation for the unnecessary concentration of services in cities and the loss of work in smaller communities.
In Atamanenko's view, trucking locally addressed letters mailed on Fridays from Castlegar, Trail, Nelson, Grand Forks, Oliver and Osoyoos to Vancouver and back makes no sense, in part because it introduces unnecessary risks in the delivery of local mail.
The possibility of delays, especially during the winter when poor road conditions often prevail, has the potential to reduce both the level of service and the level of public trust in Canada Post. The BC Southern Interior Member of Parliament is also emphatic in his concern about the crown corporation‟s gradual reduction in hours of work in rural communities.
“Canada Post has admitted that part-time and overtime hours will be reduced in our area. Combined with the downturn in the forestry sector, further loss of jobs and hours worked make it increasingly difficult for families to stay in rural communities,” he said.
“Our national post office claims to „want to become known as Canada‟s most socially responsible corporation‟ but this is clearly another nail in the coffin of rural British Columbia,” the New Democrat MP concluded.