Prince Edward Island postmark a rare stamp now

Dave Stewart
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Frank King of Vancouver, B.C., posted this photo of a Green Gables postmark on the Postage Stamp Chat Board,

Canada Post has once again put the stamp of change on Prince Edward Island.

Mail from P.E.I. will no longer bear a P.E.I. postmark now that it goes to Halifax for sorting, that is unless a person specifically requests it from Canada Post.

Earlier this year, people in P.E.I. began dropping their letters into one central Canada Post red box instead of having to deal with the old dual system — one for P.E.I. mail and one for the mail destined for the rest of Canada.

Canada Post also shut down local mail sorting on P.E.I., meaning all mail is going through Halifax for sorting where it’s processed by a machine rather than by human hands.

If someone mails a letter in Charlottetown that’s destined for Summerside, that letter has to go to Halifax first where a machine is sorting 25,000 to 35,000 letters per hour.

Phil Legault, media relations officer with Canada Post, said P.E.I. postmarks are still available on request.

“Canada Post continues to have several specialty location and seasonal postmarks for P.E.I., such as the postmark for Anne of Green Gables,’’ Legault told The Guardian by email. “As another example, we have a postmark . . . for official first-day covers when stamps are launched and they have a connection to a location.’’

Legault said the new sorting system led to the change.

“With the introduction of high-speed sorting equipment several years ago, Canada Post has standardized the cancellation information across the country, which includes coding but not the name of the city. The digital information now placed on mail makes the processing more efficient.’’

Legault said there have always been cases where people go to the post office and request a postmark. That will remain the case.

“People will do that sometimes at income tax time of if they have to send something with a specific postmark date and they want to make sure.’’

He said all the optical character reader sorting equipment across the country produces and reads the same standardized information so that the computer system properly directs the mail (letters, parcels, etc.) through the system to its destination in the standard delivery time (two days within a city; three days within a province).

Organizations: Canada Post, The Guardian

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Halifax, Charlottetown Summerside Green Gables

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Recent comments

  • Disgruntled Customer
    January 02, 2014 - 06:16

    Canada Post is doing itself a great dis-service by sending mail to Halifax for sortation. Letter mail is taking LONGER to get to it's destination now, plus there are MANY more stamps that aren't being cancelled AT ALL! I received a parcel from the prairies that had $14.00 worth of postage on it, and NOT ONR stamp was cancelled on the parcel. I am finding that more and more of the mail I do get the stamps aren't cancelled at all. Let's face it, with times the way they are, people are re-using those un-cancelled stamps! It's like shooting themselves in the foot!

  • w kennedy
    January 01, 2014 - 21:08

    Used to be a gov job paid less than private industry. A fed gov check was 50% higher than prov and mail men were envied. Only gov unions were in a position to strike and they got Ontario wages. Soc. assistance leaves you with maybe $160 after rent people are turning to crime and the poor steal from each other boarding houses are like hell on earth these people will not be able to get up in AM to do anything things will degenerate lock up tight. If these jobs were offered at min. wage hundreds would line up.

  • w kennedy
    January 01, 2014 - 14:58

    PEI didn't vote conservative. The CBC site keeps locating me in Shear-water NS? Most every other site including weather channel has no problem locating PEI , Gov already has eliminated PEI for a more streamlined "Atlantic Region". Seems the 1864 Confederation agreement is ignored?

  • Tim Fletcher
    December 31, 2013 - 22:30

    Well, Canada Post has shot itself in the foot again. Mail from C'town to Summerside goes through Halifax? And they wonder why they have budget problems? A one-hour trip now takes three days? Someone is clearly out to prove a point at the Islander's expense. Bah. How can a crown corporation make a province disappear?

  • Linda
    December 31, 2013 - 20:11

    Unfortunately both myself and neighbours are finding that our mail never makes it to it's destination since the changes went into place.

  • Garth Staples
    December 31, 2013 - 10:55

    The Staples Brook postmark became extinct in 1921. Life moves on.