Billings vehemently opposes changes to Canada Post service

KAGAWONG—Billings council is vehemently against changes being made to its postal office system, as announced by Canada Post.

It was noted at a council meeting on Monday that a message had been received from Canada Post Corporation that the rural service mail carrier route in Kagawong is being moved to Gore Bay to eventually be merged with an existing route. As of July 31, 2016, the Kagawong post office will receive and dispatch its mail via RRI Kagawong which will emanate from Gore Bay.

“The next step I’m sure is they are going to take away delivery of mail here, and then close the post office,” stated Councillor Brian Parker.

“Is a letter needed to be sent to our (provincial) member of parliament to further emphasize our concerns and opposition to these changes, and to whoever is in charge (with Canada Post)?” asked Councillor Sharon Alkenbrack.

Along with MPP Michael Mantha, Councillor Parker suggested a letter should be sent to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes, and the Premier of Ontario.

As this is a federal issue (with Canada Post being federal), clerk Kathy McDonald suggested the letter should also go to the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

Councillor Parker noted that other local post offices, such as Sheguiandah and Silver Water, have lost their post office. “There is a movement by Canada Post in small communities that have post offices to have these small communities lose their services. This island is being targeted because we have so many small communities. And once they pull the pin we will never get these postal services back.”

The post office is a focal point to small communities and a lot of business is done in them, said Councillor Barbara Erskine.

“It’s bad enough Manitoulin Island does not have a public transportation system, but now this—it’s just another hit on small communities,” said Councillor Parker, noting that post offices and the services they provide lead to local employment with personnel required to run the post office and deliver the mail.

“And these are members of the community who work at the post office and deliver mail. We need to support them,” said Councillor Alkenbrack.

“I don’t know what we are going to do here if we don’t have postal service,” said Councillor McDonald.

Councillor Parker explained that with more and more people purchasing on the Internet there are more packages coming through the local post office.

Council passed a resolution that states, “whereas Billings Township has been advised that rural route in Kagawong is being moved to Gore Bay to eventually be merged with an existing route; and whereas as of July 31, 2016 the Kagawong post office will receive and dispatch via RR1 Kagawong; be it resolved that council opposes any change to the current Kagawong mail system, and strongly oppose any move to amalgamate services with any other community. Council recommends that letters regarding this matter be addressed to the appropriate government representatives and agencies.”