Labour shortage slows Yukon mail delivery

·2 min read
The Chilkoot Way post office in Whitehorse on Thursday. In addition to having up to 7 mail delivery routes unstaffed on any given day, a labour shortage has forced Canada Post to reduce the hours of its outlet on Chilkoot Way. (Michel Proulx/CBC - image credit)
The Chilkoot Way post office in Whitehorse on Thursday. In addition to having up to 7 mail delivery routes unstaffed on any given day, a labour shortage has forced Canada Post to reduce the hours of its outlet on Chilkoot Way. (Michel Proulx/CBC - image credit)

While neither rain, snow, sleet or gloom of night may prevent mail from being delivered, a labour shortage sure will.

"It is bad right now," said Sébastien Bernier, Canada Post's superintendent for Yukon and Northern B.C.

He said about five to seven daily delivery routes in Whitehorse are going unstaffed.

"I would say before a few weeks ago, you were never seeing that. If there was one route not going out, it was the big panic here and we were trying everything to get it covered," he said.

The Chilkoot Way post office in the city is now only open from 8:30 a.m. to noon everyday because of the labour shortage, and parcels are being diverted for pick up at the postal outlet in Shoppers Drug Mart in Qwanlin Mall, said Bernier.

He added Yukoners can continue to expect delays in their mail delivery and asked customers to be patient.

"We're trying to solve the issue," he said. "I hear bad stories about the Chilkoot post office. People are impatient and putting pressure on those workers there that have nothing to do with the situation."

Hoping to use hiring incentive

Canada Post has struggling to fill jobs across the country, and Bernier said it's been especially challenging in Whitehorse since November 2021.

"We started having difficulty hiring [then]. People were leaving also for other jobs and we started losing some employees," he said.

He added there were very few, if any, candidates for the jobs that were advertised.

"I don't know [why] but there's an issue with staffing around town right now," he said.

Yukon MP Brendan Hanley said there's a labour shortage across the country. He said it's a reflection of the speed and the strength with which the economy recovered recently.

"Here in the Yukon, we experience [the labour shortage] every day. Like everyone else, I hope that with time, it will get resolved."

Bernier said the postal service is trying to resolve the shortage and is hoping to be able to offer permanent positions in Whitehorse instead of on-call positions, as it typically does.

"We want to give more of an incentive to get more candidates," he said.

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