For the Lakeside Leader
Big Lakes County council is concerned about the possible closure by Canada Post of rural post offices. Accordingly, council approved at its June 28 meeting a recommendation to support a request from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).
Council directed staff to write a letter to the federal government calling for it to accept the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Government Operations. The key point in the recommendation is to maintain existing rural post offices.
Council also recommended that post offices in Faust and Kinuso be added to a ‘moratorium list’ to save them from closing.
“The moratorium list is a protection list,” the county’s director of community services Jordan Panasiuk told council.
Post offices in Enilda, High Prairie, Joussard and Sunset House are already on the list, along with Gift Lake and Grouard.
“The moratorium that covers post offices from closures is the single most reliable source of protection (for) post offices in rural settings,” says a letter from Ellen Bowles and Julee Sanderson, representatives of the CUPW. “We suggest that now would be the perfect occasion to address this matter on behalf of your constituents.”
The union’s letter goes on to say: “We acknowledge that this matter is a decision to be made on a federal level; however, we must be optimistic that much consideration will be given to opinions of selected leadership at the municipal level regarding the results of this public issue.”
The CUPW letter adds that a recent study by Angus Reid Institute found that Canadians are nearly unanimous in their dislike of the idea of closing rural post offices, with 89 per cent opposing the suggestion.