Whitehorse mail carriers say postal cuts are bad decision

Postal workers in Whitehorse say it's a bad decision to end urban home mail delivery, after Canada Post announced it is cutting the service across Canada over the next five years, replacing it with community mailboxes.
CBC's Max Leighton reports 1:41

Postal workers in Whitehorse say it's a bad decision to end urban home mail delivery, after Canada Post announced it is cutting the service across Canada over the next five years, replacing it with community mailboxes.

It's an effort to recover massive losses heading toward $1 billion a year by 2020.

Most communities in the North already use community mailboxes. But in Whitehorse, a handful of neighbourhoods have home delivery.

Whitehorse letter carriers postal workers say their job is still necessary.

Steve McGovern, a relief letter carrier with Canada Post in Whitehorse, says he enjoys his job for the outdoors and the exercise and says his job fills a needed role in the community.

"We've been a staple in Canadian society for the last 50 years, basically since the Second World War," he said.

"I think people love to see the mailman, especially little kids, especially this time of year because, you know, gifts are coming. And I mean, we're in your neighbourhood and people know us and I think they like seeing us around." 

The local branch of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers represents about 50 people, 21 are letter carriers.

Rob Rousseau, the local union president, says if the cuts go ahead, Whitehorse isn't likely to feel them right away, but he says, the company should have been more forthcoming. He says instead of cutting services, they should be expanding them.

"Some of the ideas that we've been putting forward are things like postal banking," he said. "We've got the infrastructure to be increasing things like payments at our counters and so forth, expanding services using our existing network." 

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