OTTAWA, Feb. 7, 2019 /CNW/ - In the wake of today's surprising story that the Hudson's Bay Company, of all companies, had refused to deliver to a rural Albertan PO box, thousands of rural Postmasters are speaking up about a massive influx of online shopping items that their small post offices just aren't set up to handle.
"Our issue is staffing in sufficient numbers and of course facility space, now that online shopping has exploded," said Xan Moffatt-Toews, president of the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA) branch for Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Moffatt-Toews says she has seen large items such as tires, fenders, parts and fridges shipped to rural and northern post offices.
Although CPAA has raised concerns to management about lifting such heavy items, "the answer is always the same - the parcel was accepted by Canada Post, so we must deliver it, overweight or not" said Toews.
"We are told to let the customer in and lift it themselves."
95% of Postmasters are women and most work by themselves, often in tiny facilities with limited space.
The CPAA has been pushing for rural post offices to be recognized as vital hubs that could improve the lives of rural Canadians by offering services such as financial services, internet, and even transit stops in the wake of the Greyhound pull-out.
Such services would require better support and facilities, which are already needed to handle the online shopping boom.
"There's a lot being said about infrastructure these days. Well, we have this valuable public infrastructure – the post office – sitting at the heart of most of our rural communities and we should be using it to its full potential," said Brenda McAuley, national president of the CPAA.
French version to follow.
SOURCE Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association
For further information: Xan Moffatt-Toews, Branch President, CPAA Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, firstname.lastname@example.org, 780-834-7917; CPAA National President, Brenda McAuley, 613-745-2095, 873-353-5751