Stamping out mail problems

[attach]5565[/attach]St. Paul’s MP Carolyn Bennett is hosting a town hall meeting with Canada Post representatives this month to address ongoing complaints of service gaps in the east end of the riding.

The MP says her office receives regular complaints from area residents who cite inconsistencies in mail delivery, delays and a lack of full service.

“There doesn’t seem to be a schedule,” Bennett said regarding mail delivery. “It may be morning, afternoon, maybe not at all.”

Bennett says she has her own concerns about mail service, citing inconsistencies in the delivery of her riding newsletter.

“It’s iffy as to whether people get it or not,” she said.

Bennett’s office staff say constituents’ issues are usually resolved within a day or two, but even minor delivery delays cause problems for those expecting time-sensitive mail, like cheques or bills.

Despite persisting delivery problems, at least one matter appears to be resolved for residents of Tichester Gardens, a seniors highrise north of St. Clair, east of Bathurst.

In March, residents will be able to pick up missed delivery parcels at the newly opened postal outlet inside Shoppers Drug Mart at St. Clair and Vaughan Road.

Currently, residents of the building must travel to an outlet at Eglinton and Bathurst to retrieve parcels that were missed upon delivery, which is a huge inconvenience, they say.

“I just tell my friends not to send anything,” said one elderly resident of Tichester Gardens.

Another resident who uses a walker to get around says most times he’s at home to sign for a package. But in December he had to travel to the Eglinton location to retrieve Christmas gifts family had sent him, which was “a bit of a nuisance.”

A spokesperson for Canada Post confirmed missed parcels for Tichester Gardens will be available for pickup at the St. Clair Shoppers Drug Mart located at 523 St. Clair Ave. W. She did not indicate an exact date for the changeover.

Despite the move, Tichester resident Lee MacLachlan said she’s disappointed by the lack of communication regarding local postal service changes.

“We had a perfectly good post office,” she said. “They didn’t ask the people that live around here what we thought about it.”

Canada Post has undergone major service change over the past several years, with many neighbourhood postal outlets across the city closing in independent stores that cannot afford to pay for new technology standards imposed by the federal agency. Many outlets have opened in larger chains like Shoppers Drug Mart.

Bennett says a federal agency like Canada Post needs to be held accountable to the citizens.

“I think it’s time that officials face the music with constituents and if we have to get these policies changed then we have to hear directly from the officials as to what it will take to change,” she said.

Bennett’s town hall is being held Sunday, March 18 from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Maria Shchuka Library, 1745 Eglinton Ave. W. Constituents may address general riding matters for the first half hour, while questions regarding Canada Post matters will be addressed from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.