Canada Post eyes Nov. 19 as big day

Canada Post eyes Nov. 19 as big day

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If there ever was a big day for Canada Post and rural route residents in Oliver, November 19 would be it.
That’s the day Canada Post will implement the change to civic addresses and the switch to the new mailboxes.
But the transition has been anything but smooth, admitted Canada Post’s delivery services officer Rick Ould.
“People still say they don’t know what’s going on, but they should know what’s going on.”
Ould said they sent out three notices asking residents to report their new civic addresses, but 300 people still haven’t responded. He noted that approximately 140 of these residents live in the farming community south of Oliver. He said some people have been phoning in saying they have four houses. In this case, they need four addresses, Ould stated.
“If people respond to our letters, they will not have a problem.”
Ould said there are postage-free change of address cards available at the Oliver post office.
If all goes well, people should be getting delivery to their new community mailboxes during the week of November 19, Ould pointed out. He noted Canada Post hasn’t sent out the keys yet, but they should be arriving this week.
Ould said they will redirect residents’ mail free of charge for a year.
“We need to hear from the people that we haven’t heard from,” he reiterated.
One concern that people have been expressing is the location of the new community mailboxes. But Ould said most people are happy with the locations, which have been safety-approved by various road authorities.
Area C director Allan Patton confirmed that the address change has been frustrating for many people, including himself. He has been fielding a number of calls on the matter.
“I knew there was going to be problems . . . but we’ll get through this. Everybody will be getting their post; we just have to be patient.”
Patton said the problem began when the regional district sent out notices to everyone, but hundreds of people were missed because of incomplete information at the district level.
“A lot of it was because we weren’t keeping up to date with people renting or moving,” the director said, noting that mobile home blocks have been quite confusing to deal with.
Patton said he was getting calls from people who either didn’t get their notice or received conflicting notices.
“But the post office is giving us a whole year to work out these issues . . . the mail will still be delivered.”
Patton said his focus now is to encourage people to update their new house numbers. “We’re not getting enough buy-in (on that),” he stated, adding this is important for emergency services.
Brenda Pors, lead hand at the Oliver Post Office, acknowledged that people were confused by a recent letter sent out by Canada Post. Unfortunately, it had some incorrect information in it, she noted. “Our phone has been ringing off the wall.”
Pors said the message she wants to deliver is that people need to be patient while this change is occurring.
She confirmed that people can pick up free change of address packages at the post office. She also reminds residents to notify their banks and insurance companies of their new change of address.

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