Canada Post blames cold weather for mail delay

Contingency plans ''overwhelmed''

Is your mail carrier MIA? You're not alone.

People living in neighbourhoods scattered across the GTA say their mailboxes have been sitting empty for weeks now.

Canada Post is blaming intense, wintry conditions, especially in the immediate aftermath of last month's ice storm.

Spokesman John Hamilton tells Newstalk 1010's Jerry Agar "The weather that was wreaking havoc on all kinds of things across the GTA, and across Canada, hampered our ability."

Coupled with staff absenteeism, Hamilton says the storm "overwhelmed our contingency plans" in certain spots. He says some Toronto carriers had to take time off in order to deal with storm related issues. Canada Post called on back up employees to help, a system Hamilton says has worked for years. But it wasn't enough to maintain service across the board.

Hamilton points out that mail delivery wasn't disrupted for most of the GTA. But he says in spots where mail didn't get through, Canada Post "didn't provide the notice that we should've and we certainly apologize for that."

Some members of CUPW, the union representing postal carriers suggest bigger routes that have their members stressed and stretched thin could have played a role in the stoppage.

But Hamilton says he would take that diagnosis with a grain of salt and that Canada Post is focused on delivery.

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  • 16
  1. Angry Bill posted on 01/08/2014 02:41 PM
    A sign of the times might be that I haven't noticed a difference. Snail mail being delivered or not delivered impacts me not at all, and hasn't really in years. Like I said, a sign of the times, and is yet another indicator of the death knell for Canada Post in its current incarnation. They'll need to reinvent themselves real quick if they want a hope at remaining solvent.

    On a side note, that strike by the union at Canada Post a couple of years ago was one of the dumbest, most short-sighted antics they could have done. They were in no position to dictate any demands, because even two years ago they were largely irrelevant, and were even more so at the end of that disastrous (for them) strike.
    1. S posted on 01/08/2014 08:50 PM
      @Angry Bill You are entitled to your opinion of course but you should get your facts straight for making such statements. The strike a couple of years ago was a lockout by the corporation not by the union. The workers where legislated back to work by the government. To say that it was dumbest, most short-sight antics that they could of done, yes it was, by Canada Post not the union. :)
    2. Galileo posted on 01/08/2014 09:41 PM
      @S A lock-out that happened after the union had staged a series of rotating strikes. Both actions quite legal, of course. Have to agree with AngryBill, though. The dumb-dumb award has to go to the union on this one.
  2. InMyOpinion posted on 01/08/2014 04:05 PM
    Even Canada post employees sees that their work is not that important, and is slowly becoming obsolete.

    Many people (even including my parents in their late 60's) are getting many of their bills online...which is slowly decreasing the need for mail carriers.

    If your job consisted of you delivering flyers during the middle of the storm and just a few actaul letetrs, I think you would reconsider going in -40 degree wind chill weather or an ice storm to primarily just deliver some flyers.
    1. Jack posted on 01/08/2014 07:08 PM
      @InMyOpinion Even flyer delivery is becoming obsolete; more and more companies are switching to digital flyers, which you can either sign up to receive by email or get on your phone with apps like Reebee.
  3. Ernie posted on 01/08/2014 05:10 PM
    Every xmas many mail carriers call in sick simply because the quantity of mail to deliver is heavier and they cannot get their routes done in 5 hours with 8 hours pay.

    Canada Post has temporary employees that work when the regulars call in sick. This year when you compound the storm onto it, there just were not enough temps to go around.

    Lets just cut mail delivery to every other day now and lay off half the letter carriers. If hey want to be pricks about their jobs f__ck them!
  4. Jack posted on 01/08/2014 06:24 PM
    YAWN. Wake me when the magical Internet elves who bring me my mail, bills, and grocery flyers are affected by the cold. The sooner Canada Post dies and frees up taxpayer money for something useful like cleaning out the bums and the slums, the better.
    1. S posted on 01/08/2014 08:57 PM
      @Jack You are entitled to your opinion of course but you should get your facts straight for making such statements. You as a taxpayer have never paid for Canada Post. Canada Post is a crown corporation and over the the last 18 years has made a profit which in turn had to pay the government dividends at the end year. So CP has been paying the government!!!!!!CP has provided a service.
    2. MJ posted on 01/08/2014 10:12 PM
      @Jack You must be in a deep sleep Jack, if you are still in the mind set that taxpayers pay anything into Canada Post. A self contained Crown Corporation that actually pays the Government a nice sum every year.
      But no worries, you will wake up,... when your taxes are increased because of another 8000 CANADIAN jobs are lost! As well as not having Canada Post paying into the Government. when it no longer exists!
    3. DMCP posted on 01/08/2014 10:16 PM
      @S To build on your point, not only does CPC pay the government a dividend but mail in general provides employment directly and indirectly to over 350,000 Canadians. Forestry, paper mills, printers, envelope manufactures, advertising agencies, list rental, data houses and mail service providers. Most of these jobs are well paid. That annoying flyer that arrives in the mail box performs 3 times better than the eflyer. Those are some more facts. Does CPC have their challenges? They certainly do but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.
  5. Justin posted on 01/08/2014 07:09 PM
    The sooner that private companies have to compete with each other to get my business the few times every year I'm forced to send snail mail, the better.
    1. Ernie posted on 01/08/2014 07:23 PM
      @Justin Justin - I agree with you except for one fact. Canadian law prohibits private courier companies from charging less than Canada Post for their services. If you take FedEx as an example, the cost to ship a package from Miami to Toronto by ground is about half of the cost as sending it from Toronto to Miami.

      As long as the post office (and postal union) have this type of monopoly, they are damaging the country and making the private carriers rich.
    2. donny p. posted on 01/08/2014 08:47 PM
      @Ernie That`s crap...Canada Post owns Purolator and competes in the private courier your homework.
    3. Justin posted on 01/09/2014 02:16 PM
      @Ernie Yes, but once Canada Post is dead and gone and their union has nothing to do but look around in bafflement at the situation they've striked their way into, that monopoly will finally be gone.
    4. Mark posted on 01/09/2014 07:05 PM
      @Ernie Not sure were you get your info from but the cost of shipping the same item through Canada Post Toronto/Miami was $38. The same item through FedEx was $217.

      Private companies want Public Post Offices out of the business so they can continue to jack up prices and create monopolies of their own.
  6. jeremy posted on 01/08/2014 08:43 PM
    Anything that Jon Hamilton says should be taken with several grains of salt. He has no idea of what actually takes place on the front lines. He is paid an exorbitant salary to say what his handlers tell him.
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