Nfld. & Labrador

Bad weather causing major delivery delays for Canada Post

Letters are delayed by about six days, according to a mail carrier, who says the corporation could be doing more to get mailboxes dug out.

Union rep says corporation could be doing more to dig out mailboxes buried in snow

Craig Dyer says Canada Post should be doing more to clear community mailboxes, and help carriers do their jobs. (Mark Cumby/CBC)

The weather this winter has been playing havoc with many programs and services in Newfoundland and Labrador, and mail delivery has been hit particularly hard.

The states of emergency in the St. John's area caused considerable delays, and Monday's icy conditions set mail delivery back another day, mail carrier Craig Dyer, shop steward with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, told CBC News on Wednesday.

"We're about six days behind in the letter mail," said Dyer. "We're two to three days behind in parcels, and we're five days behind in packets — that's the smaller parcels."

He said mail delivery is far more delayed than it normally would be at this time of year, which is about a day or two behind schedule. 

We understand [it was the] snowstorm of the century, but it shouldn't take three weeks to clear these sites out.- Craig Dyer

Dyer said there isn't much anyone can do about the weather — but added Canada Post could do more to deal with it. 

"Canada Post is not doing their part," he said.

"We still have areas in St. John's and Mount Pearl that are not getting mail because the community mailbox is still buried. There's people that haven't received mail in three weeks because the corporation hasn't dug them out. We understand [it was the] snowstorm of the century, but it shouldn't take three weeks to clear these sites out."

According to Dyer, most people seem to be understanding — but some are not. 

"The frustration is there," he said. "We're getting reports from our carriers being approached on the street with people looking for their motor vehicle registration, their packet, their parcel. We've got some reports where some people are not very polite.… They're sort of nasty."

Safety first

Canada Post spokesperson Phil Legault said mail delivery has been challenging across the country this winter due to weather issues, but in Newfoundland it's been particularly difficult. 

"Already in Newfoundland we've had 12 red alerts and 12 yellow alerts since the beginning of November," he said. "Last winter there was 23 alerts all the way through to the end of April." 

A red alert means no mail is being delivered. A yellow alert means every effort is being made to get mail out, but carriers may not be able to deliver based on the surrounding condition of community mailboxes, walkways, roadways or sidewalks. 

"Hands down, mail carrier safety is our No. 1 priority," said Legault. "It's our utmost responsibility to keep our employees safe."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from The St. John's Morning Show and CBC Newfoundland Morning

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