“Canada Post is experiencing a number of staffing issues within your postal depot resulting in five full-time vacancies currently which is causing several postal routes to be left vacant on a daily basis,” Lambert says in a written response to a Fort St. John resident’s complaint to the Canada Post Ombudsman in regard to a lack of delivery consistency.

She adds, “…Additional effort is being made on weekends to deliver the mail in your area with the help of employees from Dawson Creek.”

According to the written report from the desk of the Ombudsman, Canada Post is mandated by the federal government “to deliver letters, parcels and publications five days a week (except for statutory holidays) to every Canadian address.” However, they are given leeway in more rural regions where delivery service may be less frequent as result of limited access to the community.

In times like these when Canada Post is understaffed, Lambert explains the system in place which goes to the following:

  • Delivering beyond the regular 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. hours up to 8:00 p.m.
  • Assigning an on-call relief employee to the postal route
  • Splitting up the route for internal staff and/or management to deliver
  • Ensuring that any postal route or parts of a route that is not delivered on a given day is put as a priority for delivery the following day

“Senior management is well aware of the challenges being faced with having to compete with the oil and gas industries as this has been an ongoing problem for the past 18 months even though a number of hiring processes have been initiated and continue to this day,” Lambert writes.

Lambert goes on to say, “Canada post does not have any plans at this time to formally communicate this situation to the community.”

In conclusion, Lambert says local management is monitoring Fort St. John delivery over a four-week period ending November 21, and if they find staffing issues are outside “the norm”, local management “will address this issue further with senior management at Canada Post.”

“In recognition of the impact this delivery situation has had on you, Canada Post has agreed to send you a letter of apology, a copy of which will be sent to our office and added to your file,” the Fort St. John resident is told, the identity of which is being withheld to protect privacy.