Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hey, wait a minute Mr. Postman, deliver the letter, the sooner the better

As we outlined here on the Podunkian portal on Tuesday afternoon, residents of the Queen Charlotte Island's are finding that the daily mail isn't quite daily, and depending on the weather it may not even be weekly anymore.

Transportation issues continue to cause trouble for Canada Post on the Charlottes, as the locals find that when it comes to service their class is not first and even second mind be a stretch...

The Daily News caught up to the Island angst with a front page story in Wednesday's paper.

Canada Pension Plan cheques held up as Islanders left feeling second-class again
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Page one

Canada Post's decision to not deliver normal mail service to Haida Gwaii emerged as a Christmas grinch for Islands pensioners.

While most retired Canadians were able to cash-in their Canadian Pension Plan and Old Age Security cheques before Santa's big day, those on the Islands were left to wait until Dec. 30 before their cheques arrived.

That left Village of Queen Charlotte mayor Carol Kulesha fuming yet again about a perceived second-class status islanders feel Canada Post has branded them with.

"They (Canada Post) have really taken a hardline attitude with us," said Kulesha.

Ever since Canada Post decided to pull Xpress Post services and slow down normal service after outing from a contract with Air Canada in September to fly mail to the islands, the federal postal service has come under fire from locals.

Normally, the CPP and OAS cheques are sent before Christmas by Canada Post in an effort to support those who depend on pensions to help with holiday festivities instead of delivering them at the end of the month as it does for the rest of the year.

NDP Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen has sent out a fact-finding survey to Haida Gwaii asking locals there what experiences they have had since Canada Post made the decision.

Canada Post's Chief Operating Officer Jaques Cote sent a letter to Kulesha to say that he was reviewing the situation in detail and that he would continue to monitor the service delivery.
"We appreciate that some residents may be inconvenienced as a result of this change, and we offer our apologies," wrote Cote.

Kulesha said that did not even come close to satisfying her.

"We would like to know which residents are not inconvenienced?" wondered Kulesha.
"Apologies instead of action is not enough.

"Letter mail takes anywhere from five to 15 days, and a letter from (Prince Rupert) to me, took nine days - Christmas did not last that long."

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