By Belle Hatfield
The days of mailing local letters without a postal code or with just a partial address are over for people in Yarmouth.
Canada Post is ending manual letter sorting at nine regional post offices in Nova Scotia. That means without a postal code, mail will most likely be returned to sender.
Canada Post spokesperson Anick Losier told The Vanguard that, as of March 18, all letters mailed in and around Yarmouth will be sent to Halifax for automated sorting.
She said there will be no job losses.
While the standard for first-class delivery of local mail is two business days, typically in Yarmouth letter delivery has exceeded the standard, resulting in overnight delivery. That is unlikely under the new system.
Councillor Phil Mooney raised the issue at a committee-of-the-whole meeting of town council Tuesday, Feb. 6, saying he had concerns about the future of the Yarmouth post office.
Mooney told council that although there will be no job losses, he feared that the jobs would be in Halifax.
Losier said that is not going to happen.
“Our people have job security, but it does mean they are going to do something different,” she said.
Under their collective agreement, they have to be assigned new duties within 40 kilometres of where they live.
The corporation is responding to a drastic decline in letter mail as customers rely more on electronic correspondence.
“We are seeing two million less letters per day compared to last year … that’s 50 per cent of our revenues (from letters) in decline. This trend is not changing,” she said.
There is equipment in Halifax that sorts up to 35,000 letters an hour and trucks have to bring mail from the regional centres to Halifax every day.
While letters are in decline, the parcel business is booming, Losier said. @bellehatfield