By Doug Hallett
A Guelph man who says he didn’t get mail at his community mailbox for a couple of weeks late last summer after it was invaded by buzzing insects has finally received a response to his complaint to Canada Post’s ombudsman.
Ombudsman Francine Conn didn’t admit that Canada Post did anything wrong in its handling of the situation on Pheasant Run Drive, where Jack Dyson lives. “She is admitting nothing” in her four-page letter sent last week, he said.
Dyson is one of the many suburban residents who don’t get the door-to-door mail delivery. He doesn’t think the planned move to community mailboxes for all Canadians, combined with a sharp increase in the price of stamps, will solve the woes of the money-losing Crown corporation.
“I think Canada Post is an old, tired institution and it needs to be revived and updated.” The proposed changes won’t do it, he said in an interview Friday.
Dyson said in September that a local Canada Post supervisor told him the mail delivery person in his area had an allergy to bee stings. So she stopped delivering the mail to his apparently infested community mailbox at the south end of Waxwing Crescent. It serves about 35 households. Canada Post didn’t notify the affected residents about the delivery problem or where else they might get their mail, he said.
After a couple of weeks of not getting mail in late August and early September, they started getting delivery again. However, since then the mail has been arriving at about 5 p.m. instead of before noon as it used to be, Dyson said Friday. “We are still getting it late, very late.”
He was told that Canada Post sprayed his community mailbox on three different days to deal with the infestation problem, he said.
Dyson said he wasn’t impressed that the ombudsman merely said she’d passed along to Canada Post his three suggestions for dealing with such problems. They were: that Canada Post prevent infestations, perhaps by installing a flap over the mail opening so bees and wasps can’t get in; that it tell community box users when there are delivery problems like this; and that it let people know where they can pick up their mail until delivery resumes at the community box.
Dyson said another Pheasant Run Drive resident, Paul Fraser, had similar delivery problems around the same time at a different community mailbox in the area. Fraser, too, was in correspondence with Conn and was “livid” about her response, Dyson said.
Dyson said he and Fraser are now waiting to see if Conn’s office responds to the “stinging” email that Fraser sent the ombudsman last week in response to her four-page letter.
In September, Ottawa-based Canada Post spokesperson John Caines told the Tribune that he would look into Dyson’s complaint and get back to the newspaper about it. He never did get back to the Tribune.
By Doug Hallett