PARRY SOUND - The saying may be that through rain or shine, snow or sleet Canada Post will continue to deliver the local mail, but it will now all be sorted in Toronto.
The sorting of local mail will no longer take place in Parry Sound. All mail will now be shipped south to a Toronto facility for sorting.
Roland Cilliers/Beacon Star
Until now, the job of organizing local letters has taken place within Parry Sound, but the change in the organization coming within the next few weeks will see all mail coming out of the area being shipped down to Toronto for sorting.
Opponents of the move have said it will cause significant delays for the delivery of local mail. In addition, they have argued it is an inefficient use of resources because mail from Parry Sound and bound for a Parry Sound address would first have to make the nearly 600-kilometer journey to and from Toronto before reaching its destination.
John Caines, spokesman with Canada Post, said the organization is making changes to the way it operates to remain viable as mail trends change.
“We’re taking advantage of the capacity that we have in the larger facilities and the high-speed sorting equipment that’s there,” Caines said. “It just makes sense. It’s a good business decision. The employees, there’s no issue there, they’ll be reassigned to other duties and the mail will continue to be delivered as it is today.”
Caines said the only visible change customers will see is in the mailboxes themselves. Currently, there is a twin mailbox system where local mail goes in one box and the rest goes into the other box. All mail will now go into one box.
The mail going out of Parry Sound was already sorted in Toronto, so the local mail will now be added to the daily trips of the trucks travelling between the two facilities.
“The truck will now be going to pick up the rest of it, which is probably less than 20 per cent, at the same time by the same truck going to Toronto. It will be sorted and brought back the next day and delivered within our standards of two business days for local delivery,” Caines said.
Many in the region have been skeptical that moving the sorting process will not have an effect on service delivery. Earlier this week the Town of Parry Sound sent out a notice warning ratepayers that delivery of local mail may take up to a week to reach its destination.
The Town of Parry Sound has officially come out in opposition to Canada Post’s plan. At the February 19 council meeting, a motion was carried that urges Canada Post not to implement the new procedure. Other councils in the region are expected to take similar action.
Coun. Brad Horne, who moved the motion, said the change could end up being a serious inconvenience for people in the region.
“To have our mail mailed in Parry Sound, taken down to Toronto, sorted, moved back up - that comes with a myriad of problems for individuals who pay their bills by mail,” said Horne. “There could be late charges associated with that and a lot of people still pay their bills through mail.”
In the notice sent out by the Town of Parry Sound it indicates that penalties and interest charges will still be applied on any overdue amounts for water and sewer accounts.
Noel Pouliot, a local resident and a former Canada Post employee said he believes the idea behind the change is to cut positions.
“Why would you take a system that works extremely well, ship it to Toronto and then have it brought back within a week? Canada Post is going to come out with this line that it’s two to three days which is a bunch of malarkey,” said Pouliot. “They always come out with this turn around standard times and more times than not they do not meet them. I guess the way I look at it is if it aint broke dont fix it.”