Canada Post cuts could hurt locally

A nationwide campaign to 'save Canada Post' made a stop in Penticton Aug. 18.

National president Mike Palecek (left) of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and local president Wayne Anderson at the Save Canada Post rally on Lakeshore Drive Aug. 18.

If Canada Post spending cuts are not reversed the Penticton union president said it will have big effects locally.

“Seniors would be the most affected if they put up community mail boxes,” said Wayne Anderson, president of local 796 Penticton of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. “Seniors will have to walk to collect their mail up to 500 yards away from their house. You’re hurting seniors — sometimes (the mail carrier) is the only person a senior sees in a day.”

The federal government’s decision to apply cuts to Canada Post was announced on Dec. 11, 2013. Save Canada Post claims more than five million Canadians will be affected by new community mailboxes, and Canada will be the world’s first country to get rid of door-to-door delivery.

Proponents for Save Canada Post rolled their Winnebago into Penticton on Aug. 18 to express concerns for the implications which will result from budget cuts.

While the loss of door-to-door delivery in exchange for centralized mailboxes is top-of-mind for many, concerns regarding the loss of well-paying jobs were forefront during the stop in Penticton.

“They’re good paying jobs for the community,” said Anderson.  “We make a fair, good wage and we work hard. If you cut those jobs, that’s money no longer being put into the communities.”

Anderson added not only do they believe it will effect seniors if community mailboxes are implemented, the likelihood of theft and littering will increase. The CUPE campaign has found sympathy in sharing their concerns.

Iris McElgunn, whose late husband spent 35 years working for Canada Post, said the postal system serves as a good substitution for people who don’t use the internet, particularly seniors, and she also values the security of having a carrier making deliveries personally.

“A lot of people really look forward to having the mail come.”

Amid the current election campaign, representatives of the union protecting postal workers are crossing the country to drum up support for new leadership in Ottawa.

Anderson feels the NDP would be the best alternative to the incumbent government, as the party has pledged to reverse service cuts, “and give Canadians services that they deserve.”

“Stephen Harper’s not our friend. He’s not a postal workers friend. He’s not a friend of most Canadians,” he said. “A lot of things hinge right now on the election that’s coming up on Oct. 19.”

CUPE national president Mike Palecek said the campaign has so far generated “pages and pages” of petition signatures, as well as countless constructive discussions and signs of support from the public.

“We’ll continue campaigning until Oct. 19 — it’s the petition for a new prime minister.”

Because Canada Post reported significant profits earlier this year, Palecek criticized the government’s business sense in applying the cuts.

“It’s not just about losing door to door service, it’s about the downsizing of post offices, jacking up stamp prices, the restructuring of pension plans, and other unnecessary cuts.”

After launching mid-July from Newfoundland, the Winnebago was in Nelson before reaching Penticton, and then headed north to Kelowna before its ultimate destination on Vancouver Island.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton RCMP, Fire Department, BCEHS salute hospital workers

“You’re awesome” and “Thank you” say Penticton first responders, passing by emergency entrance

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Social media ‘prank’ leads to criminal investigation in Osoyoos

Post claims individuals will be canvassing door to door seeking housing for seasonal workers

COVID-19: Non-profit 3D printing face shields for local hospital

‘The response has been completely overwhelming’

LETTER: Thanks to those providing essential services

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen board chair recognizes efforts and dedication

WATCH: Peachland boy gets a birthday parade

West Kelowna Party Parades made their way down to celebrate Josh Cardiff’s sixth birthday

World COVID-19 update: NATO suspicious of Russian military drills; Cruise ships ordered to stay at sea

Comprehensive update of coronavirus news from around the world for Wednesday, April 1

Community drums up support for North Okanagan hospital workers

Even health care workers and fellow first responders turned out to show love

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

Stay inside vehicles on Interior ferry crossings to prevent spread of COVID-19: B.C. government

Glade, Kootenay and Arrow Lakes some of the ferry crossings in Interior

Grocery pickups and other supports available for Shuswap seniors living at home

BC 211 is another way to connect with Shuswap Better at Home program

Neighbours surprise and move Shuswap health-care worker with their appreciations

Residents in subdivision greet neighbour on return from work at Salmon Arm hospital

Most Read