Rural post offices worth saving, says county

Richard Froese
South Peace News
Potential closure of Canada Post rural post offices concerns Big Lakes County council.

At its regular meeting June 28, council approved a recommendation to support a request from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Council directed staff to write a letter to federal Public Services and Procurement Minister Judy Foote, calling for the government to accept the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Government Operations.

The key point is to maintain existing rural post offices.

Council also recommended that Faust and Kinuso be added to the moratorium list of Canada Post to save them from closing.

“The moratorium list is a protection list,” says Jordan Panasiuk, director of community services.

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 from post offices in rural settings,” says a letter from Ellen Bowles and Julee Sanderson, representatives of CUPW.
“We suggest that now would be the perfect occasion to address this matter on behalf of your constituents.
“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.”

A recent study by Angus Reid Institute found that Canadians are near-unanimous in their dislike of the idea of closing rural post offices with 89 per cent opposing the suggestion, the letter adds.

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