Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Timmins Downtown BIA protests Parcel Pickup

Timmins city council has joined the BIA to protest the decision by Canada Post to have it’s parcel service farmed out to private interests - - in this case, to Shopper’s Drug Mart. Council has passed a resolution of protest.
Council learned of the issue in a letter from Downtown Timmins BIA chair Andrew Marks that “parcel pickup service is no longer available” and that patrons who have a parcel held for pickup must go to either of the Shopper’s Drug Mart locations.
The letter expressed concern that the downtown post office at Second and Balsam is within easy reach of 250 businesses and roughly 2500 employees in the downtown area. The letter says customer service would be well served by maintaining the parcel pickup service in the downtown area. The letter said to do anything else would be a disservice to downtown merchants. Most city councillors agreed.
“You’d think with something like this, they (Canada Post) would consult with the community,” said Councillor Denis Saudino. He added that he was also concerned that council was getting the information from a third party, such as the BIA and that Canada Post should have taken steps to keep council informed. Saudino added that the post office used to be known for “one-stop shopping”, but that the new system would mean “two-stop shopping”.
“It’s a step backwards as far as I am concerned,” he told council.
“How will this affect post offices in Schumacher and South Porcupine?” Saudino wondered.
Councillor Gary Scripnick called on council to voice unanimous support for the downtown BIA group.
“I do believe this a blow to downtown Timmins,” Scripnick said.
Councillor Mike Doody said the move not only affects downtown workers, but also residents throughout the Ward Five area. He said it would be a burden for those who do not own cars.
“For some this is definitely a loss of service,” said Doody.
Canada Post says the change, in Northern Ontario and across Canada, is to “ take advantage of the longer hours of service (weekends, nights) that outlets in host businesses have.”
Tom Creech, of Canada Post corporate communications says Timmins has two Shoppers Drug Mart outlets in the city to provide postal services.
“Canada Post will attempt delivery of a parcel or an item requiring a signature. If the parcel will not fit in a mailbox, if the customer is not home or if it cannot be placed in a secure location which is not easily visible from the street, a card will be left stating where and when the parcel will be available for pickup. If the customer is not home for an item requiring a signature, a card will also be left,” Creech explained.
“Customers who have a postal box at the Timmins Post Office and who have a large parcel or an item requiring a signature will continue to obtain those items from the retail counter at the post office,” Creech continued.

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