Midway and Greenwood are both losing Saturday postal services next month.
Canada Post used a form letter to alert its customers in the two communities that Saturday retail services will end effective June 21, 2014.
Darren Smith, local area superintendent – retail for Canada Post in the South Okanagan, Boundary and Similkameen, sent the letter to post boxes last week.
He cited declining mail volumes and the need to make smart choices to maintain local service without becoming a burden on Canadian taxpayers. “We stand by our mandate of serving Canadians while remaining profitable, understanding that our costs continue to rise while mail volumes decline,” Smith wrote.
“We intend to focus on serving our customers when they use the post office most,” he said, adding reviews in both post offices have determined that there are a very small number of local customers on Saturdays.
Weekday hours at both post offices will remain the same: In Midway, Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1 to 4:30 p.m.; in Greenwood, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 5 p.m.
Postal box customers in each community will continue to have full access to their mailboxes at the current schedule.
Smith said that there will be no change to the range of services available at either post office.
“They are struggling and they are trying to save money,” said Greenwood Mayor Nipper Kettle when contacted for a comment. “It’s a tough situation but I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. I know a lot of people may find it a little bit hard, but they have done that in many, many communities and there is probably very few communities in B.C. that have Saturday service now.”
Midway Mayor Randy Kappes said he was disappointed that Canada Post did not adhere to promised public consultation. “I don’t feel we’ve had any meaningful consideration of the concerns that council raised,” Kappes said.
In early April, Midway council had written to Canada Post voicing their concerns about the cutback in hours restricting access for some residents, such as those who work 9-5 out of town, and the weekend may be their only opportunity to get to the wicket.