Community mailboxes for Spaniard's Bay a bittersweet solution, says mayor

·2 min read
After nearly three weeks of upheaval, Canada Post customers in Spaniard's Bay have been told the corporation will install community mailboxes in the community following the sudden closure earlier this month of the privately run postal outlet. (Terry Roberts/CBC - image credit)
After nearly three weeks of upheaval, Canada Post customers in Spaniard's Bay have been told the corporation will install community mailboxes in the community following the sudden closure earlier this month of the privately run postal outlet. (Terry Roberts/CBC - image credit)

Municipal leaders in Spaniard's Bay say it appears inevitable that citizens will have to accept a downgraded level of service from Canada Post.

"We're a little fish against a big whale," Spaniard's Bay Mayor Paul Brazil told CBC News on Friday.

Canada Post is moving to community mailboxes in Spaniard's Bay following the sudden closure earlier this month of the privately operated postal outlet in the Conception Bay North town of some 2,700 residents.

The closure of A1 Convenience forced Canada Post to redirect mail services for its roughly 1,000 customers in Spaniard's Bay to the neighbouring corporate-run post office in Harbour Grace.

The temporary measure occurred at one of the busiest times of the year for the postal service, leading to widespread frustration and anger as the extra traffic lead to long lineups and delays in Harbour Grace.

In a bid to improve services and address the higher volumes of business, Canada Post has doubled the number of staff at the Harbour Grace post office, and will be open for full services on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"Our post office employees are making great efforts to service customers as quickly and efficiently as possible," a Canada Post spokesperson wrote in a statement ot CBC.

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As for a longer-term solution, Spaniard's Bay residents will have to get used to a scenario that's now familiar to many Canadians: community mailboxes.

'Nobody's happy'

Under this scenario, residents will likely have to leave the community to purchase stamps and mail their letters and parcels, with Brazil saying the most convenient destination for these services will likely be the postal outlet in the Shoppers Drug Mart in Bay Roberts.

"Nobody's happy. Everybody wants full service. Canada Post is not prepared to come to the table to talk to us about that, said Brazil.

The mayor said an agreement has been reached to install the mailboxes at the rear of the municipal centre, with the town making up to 40 square metres of space available to Canada Post at no charge.

"We offered it more as a convenience to our residents," said Brazil.

The mayor has been told that Canada Post will be shipping the mailboxes to Spaniard's Bay in the coming weeks, and he expects installation to take place in January.

The town council lobbied to have a new corporate post office established in Spaniard's Bay, but Brazil said that suggestion was quickly dismissed by Canada Post officials.

Brazil said there was no interest from the Spaniard's Bay business community to host a privately operated postal outlet, similar to the one operated by A1 Convenience before it went out of business.

"The business plan that Canada Post has for those retail outlets is not very attractive," said Brazil.

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