Dorintosh residents rally to sign Canada Post petition

by Phil Ambroziak

The Village of Dorintosh is not prepared to put its stamp of approval on a proposal from Canada Post that could result in reduced hours at the local post office.

During the July 10 meeting of Dorintosh village council, a decision was made to support the distribution of a petition throughout the community. Its purpose is to express to Canada Post officials in Ottawa how strongly opposed residents are of this possible change.

“We’re certainly not in favour of this,” remarked village councillor Sandra Bannister. “We have a lot of people who conduct business around here. There’s no courier service and not a lot of people have access to high-speed Internet, so many of them rely on the post office, whether it’s farmers, business owners or even the school.”

According to a letter the village recently received from Canada Post, the proposal calls for a reduction from 36 hours of service per week to 24.

“This change is primarily being considered because Canada Post regularly reviews post office operations throughout the country,” explained Phil Legault, manager of media relations with Canada Post. “We want to ensure Canada Post has long-term sustainability and ensure we’re providing customers with reliable, affordable and accessible postal service, but at the same time we don’t want to burden our shareholders – the taxpayers.”

Bannister, however, believes cutting 12 hours per week at the post office would be a huge step backward and will not serve to benefit the community in any way.

“A lot of things that come and go at our local post office are of a time-sensitive nature,” she said. “Water samples that need to reach their destination within a set number of hours is one thing that comes to mind, but there’s also supplies that many people and businesses are bringing in almost daily. This change would cause hardships for a lot of people.”

These thoughts were shared by village administrator Pam Dallyn, who said the petition is likely to gain a lot of support.

“The signatures on the petition will verify it’s not only village council but also the residents who are opposed to this,” Dallyn said.

When completed, the petition will be delivered to Canada Post courtesy of the the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association.

“It’s no secret we’re facing tough times,” Legault said. “In 2006, we saw five billion mail transactions, but since that time it’s been reduced to only four billion.”

Bannister believes there’s more at stake, however.

“I believe they’re trying to make it look so unattractive no one will want the job (in Dorintosh) and it will make it easier for Canada Post to close our post office,” Bannister said.

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