Frustrations are stacking up in three Regina neighbourhoods about the frequency — or lack of it — of Canada Post mail delivery.
Some residents of North Central, Varsity Park and Glencairn say they've gone days and sometimes weeks without mail — and it's affecting their livelihoods.
Stacey Ferguson, who lives in the Varsity Park neighbourhood in the city's southeast, says she noticed in early February she was not receiving her mail.
10 days with empty mailbox
"I didn't honestly pay much attention to it until the phone calls started, and then I started questioning, 'Hmm.. I don't let my bills go.'"
At one point, Ferguson said she went 10 days with an empty mailbox. Then she found out her letter carrier had injured her leg.
Canada Post says that particular employee missed just five shifts, and on those days it sent temporary workers to cover the route.
"Ms. Ferguson should have been receiving her lettermail," an official from Canada Post told CBC News in an email.
Ferguson, however, insists she was left scrambling. At one point she says had less than 24 hours before the heat would be cut off.
"My SaskEnergy [bill]: I got the bill and then the late notice and the cutoff warning in one day," she said. "That's not good."
Waiting for cheques
Across the city, in the North Central neighbourhood, Leanne McKay-Bellegarde says her letter carrier is also away.
'I expect some service. I've had no service.'- Leanne McKay-Bellegarde, North Central resident
McKay-Bellegarde says she has lupus, a broken leg and a teenage son to support and was waiting on her social assistance cheque.
"I expect some service. I've had no service," she said.
She says she and other residents haven't received mail in about a week. She filed a complaint with Canada Post but was told it could be 5 to 10 days before she gets a response.
"I don't have five hours," she said, "I am surprised my landlord isn't here right now with a 24-hour eviction notice."
McKay-Bellegarde relies on both a regular social assistance payment, which is provided directly to her landlord, and a supplemental payment which is sent to her through the mail. She uses the supplement to pay that portion of her monthly rent not covered by her regular social assistance.
Staffing issues at post office
In an email to CBC, Canada Post pointed to staffing issues as a source of delivery problems and noted that, for McKay-Bellegarde's building "our full-time delivery agent for the route is currently away." The official claimed mail was being delivered to the address on Thursday, although that could not be confirmed.
The email also notes that mail volumes in Canada have dropped by at least a billion pieces since 2006, resulting in a "serious challenge" for the company.
Advice from Canada Post:
"Anyone that has concerns with their postal services should register a complaint with our customer service (1-866-607-6301 or online at Customer Support). Each case is fully investigated and no case is closed until the issue is resolved or questions are answered."
- Canada Post official
Meanwhile, back in east Regina, Sharianne Caffet said she and her neighbours in the Glencairn area had received no mail for five days.
"After calling Canada Post's [toll-free] number and filing numerous complaints, we were informed that, because it has not been five business days, Canada Post will do nothing to attempt to locate our mail or investigate our lack of service," Caffet said in an email to CBC.
There could be hundreds of people affected, she added.
"Regardless of what we are waiting for, the fact that we are waiting with no redress, and no answers, and no one looking into it, is unacceptable," she said.