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Postmasters fear Canada Post may be planning more rural post office closures

Monday, February 21st, 2005

Canada Post may be planning to close more rural post offices, says a Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association official.

Darwin Hoimyr, president of the association’s Saskatchewan branch, said a letter from Canada Post written last summer says supporting small rural post offices is a heavy burden on the corporation’s bottom line.

To prevent such closures the association has begun lobbying MPs and civic leaders about the importance of post offices to rural communities.

The CPAA has sent out information packages, including backgrounders, a petition form and postcards, supporting the survival of rural post offices.

“What you find when a post office is taken out of a town, it’s just one more thing that contributes to the spiral of communities becoming less and less viable,” said Hoimyr.

“So our plan now is to let the politicians and MPs know that this we think is a very valuable service. They can ensure that the operating plan that’s approved for Canada Post includes maintaining rural service.”

Canada Post spokesman Francois Legault said the Crown corporation cannot simply close post offices because of a moratorium put in place in 1994 by the federal government.

He said there are no plans to “massively close post offices.”

But Legault acknowledged the corporation has closed post offices since then under certain circumstances.

“In certain cases, you have a postmaster that retired and there’s no one that is capable or no one in the community that will take over,” he said.

“Sometimes we’re the last business standing — so things like that may happen. But there’s no set rule. This is done on a case-by-case basis.”

(Sask-StarPhoenix)

Source: Canadian Press

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