Wheatley River resident complains to Ottawa about mailbox blocked by snow

Dave Stewart
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Trudy MacDonald of Wheatley River sent The Guardian this photo of her Canada Post mailbox that was cut off by a snow bank.

Trudy MacDonald of Wheatley River says Canada Post needs to do a better job of clearing snow in rural P.E.I.

MacDonald said she recently went out to collect her mail from the local transit boxes two hours after her driveway had been plowed out only to discover she couldn’t get to her mailbox, which was blocked by a mound of snow.

The Island was cleaning up from yet another snowstorm.

“People from the community with snow-clearing machines drive right past the super boxes on this road,’’ MacDonald said.

She said a local Canada Post employee told her the Crown corporation hires private contractors locally to clear snow from transit boxes.

Phil Legault, media relations with Canada Post, confirmed that.

“Canada Post is responsible for maintenance and snow clearance at community mailbox sites,’’ Legault said in an email. “We have contracted services that clear the snow away from the boxes following snowfalls.’’

Unsatisfied with the answers she was getting from Canada Post, MacDonald sent an email to Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, the minister responsible for Canada Post, and copied it to the Prime Minister's Office.

She received a prompt reply.

“Please be assured that your comments have been carefully noted,’’ MacDonald said, reading from the email she received from Donald Smith in the Prime Minister’s Office. “He assured me that she will wish to give my views every consideration. Isn’t that sweet?’’

MacDonald didn’t sound overly convinced, by the way.

Legault said if mailboxes are not cleared in a reasonable amount of time following a snowfall, people can call the corporation’s customer line and some will be sent out to clear the boxes.

That number is 1-866-607-6301.

 

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Organizations: Canada Post

Geographic location: Wheatley River

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Recent comments

  • Tracey
    January 09, 2014 - 13:13

    Seriously you gave it all of TWO hours before you jumped the gun? Is that really reasonable? You were clearly told by Canada Post that they hire a private company to do the clearing in front of mailboxes...do you think they can follow the plows around and do it right away? Be REASONABLE... And seriously, what was coming in your mail that was so urgent anyways? If you (or anyone else) had to wait to get your mail until the NEXT day (or even the day after), what is the worst thar could have happened? Again the sense of entitlement and the complete lack of common sense as to how things operate in the reasonable world outside PEI land. Wow...just wow.

  • Adam
    January 09, 2014 - 10:59

    Keep a note of this article for when Canada Post and the government boasts about how cutting rural deliveries in favour of these boxes is much better sense. Can you imagine a senior trying to get their mail only to find it snowed in and they have to walk back?

  • Dundas Sue
    January 09, 2014 - 10:40

    I am aurprised the the box holders would find any mail in the box. If a box holder cant get to the box to get their mail the mail carrier would not be able to either, They are not required to carry shovels and wade through snow; all the mail may be back at the post office. The location of these boxes needs to be better thought out. Placing them on road limits and thus, in the way of "the cutting" is hardly wise in such a snowy climate. The best place is the parking lots of businesses that operate seven days a week because they clear their own snow and could be compensated for the extra work to clear the area around the box.

  • Georgie
    January 09, 2014 - 10:33

    Considering snow removal from these boxes is contracted out I dont think CP is to blame here.

  • Trevor MacRae
    January 09, 2014 - 09:36

    How about we raise the price of stamps to $20 each and Canada Post can have a tractor and blower on standby next to every community mailbox 24/7? It's mail -- it'll keep for a few hours. I'd advise Ms. MacDonald to spend a day or two following (or working with -- imagine!) the contractors who have to keep those boxes clear before she decides to write the PMO again. Sheesh!

  • Much the same
    January 09, 2014 - 09:21

    In the community of Lower Montague. Only diff. is the snow removal contractor and the mailwoman should know when the mail is being delivered.

  • Lloyd
    January 09, 2014 - 08:47

    You expect everything cleaned up after a big storm in 2 or 3 hours? There is more important things to clean then your mailbox.If not done in a couple of you would maybe think about complaining. Get a life besides checking your mail everyday. We could not get to our box for 4 or 5 days due to drifting snow. It was not the end of the world.