THUNDER BAY, ON ---- October 29, 2011 ----– MP Bruce Hyer is demanding that Canada Post find a replacement location for the postal outlet that is closing in Dorion this year. The current postal outlet, located in Canyon Country Service, is about to close at the end of November due to highway construction.
"The Canada Post office in Dorion, Ontario is about to close – forcing families to drive up to 75 kilometres just to pick up a package. That’s despite the fact that Canada Post has claimed there is a moratorium on the closure of rural post offices,” Hyer said in Question Period in the House of Commons today. “Mr. Speaker, postal service is vital for rural families, and especially seniors, in communities like Dorion – they shouldn’t have to drive an hour just to get to the post office. Can the Minister stand up and assure Dorion families that their post office will not close?”
Last year 37 different towns across Canada lost their post offices or outlets, even while Canada Post raked in $233 million in profit. Onerous requirements for opening and maintaining a postal outlet, such as strict hours of operation or expensive displays, counter space and computer systems, mean that smaller businesses such as those common in rural communities are effectively shut out of opening a postal outlet if the community’s current post office closes.
“Canada Post has a responsibility to provide adequate service to rural Canadians, but it seems they are only paying lip service to their policy of no rural closures,” said Hyer. “Forcing rural residents like those in Dorion to drive to another town for basic postal service – in an area with high fuel prices, long winters and limited transport options – is not fulfilling their obligations. But I intend to keep working with all parties involved until we resolve this.”
Hyer has met with Canada Post officials as well as local residents, business owners and mail carriers, and suggested that the crown corporation show some flexibility in order to ensure a new location in Dorion is found. So far, no replacement location has been announced.