New mail boxes at 7-Eleven are meant to increase not decrease postal service in Williams Lake, said Canada Post.
“It is our intention to run both the corporate outlet on Second Avenue and the dealer outlet,” Canada Post spokesperson Eugene Knapik told the Weekend Advisor.
“We do periodically review all our retail outlets, so I can’t predict the long term, but our intention now is to increase service with two outlets as opposed to one.”
Last month, new mailboxes were installed at 7-Eleven on Proctor Street and presently 32 are vacant, he said.
While the corporation has set out on a five-year-plan to roll out community mail boxes across Canada, there is no target date set for when that will happen in Williams Lake.
A list released in December named 11 communities that will see the conversion in 2014 but it did not include the lakecity.
Another list of communities slated for the change in 2015 will be released later this year.
Canadian Postal Worker Union Local 854 representative Bev Goldstone of Williams Lake has delivered mail for Canada Post since 1979.
Once the community mailboxes are installed, there are projections 30 to 40 per cent full-time equivalent jobs could be lost, Goldstone said.
“But until they actually finish putting the community mailboxes in place, we won’t have a true picture of the job losses.”
Of the 20 letter carriers in Williams Lake, four could be eligible for retirement within the next five years, she confirmed.
To decide where the community boxes will go, Canada Post has surveyed residents and municipalities in advance, Knapik explained.
“In some communities it might work better for people if they group a larger number of them together, which would make it further for some people, but on the other hand it may be advantageous for customers to have the boxes closer to their home.”
“Canada Post Canada is taking it community by community.”
Goldstone also said everyone is nervous that more corporate outlets will be closed in the future because some communities have been left with only one outlet.
100 Mile House was on the list to be downsized, and some places that weren’t on the list, were downsized any way, she explained.