Canada Post and the residents of the West Shore are talking.
The lines of communication between Canada Post and several communities on Vancouver Island including the West Shore are already in full swing as the finalization of locations for the forthcoming community mailboxes continues.
View Royal mayor David Screech said the citizens of his community, who have been selected as one of the first for the change over, have been letting their voices be heard.
“We have had concerns from residents regarding placement and locations with them and our staff are working hard with Canada Post to try to resolve those,” Screech said. “Parking, visibility and safety have been big issues brought forward. We have had concerns from residents who have been notified by Canada Post… hopefully they will get (resolved).”
Canada Post has the final authority on locations and Screech said he has heard of potential locations across View Royal including one close to 62 View Royal Avenue and the other on Prince Robert Drive and the Island Highway. Canada Post communications state the first areas to be affected have been chosen based on neighbourhoods “near or similar to communities” where they have been delivering to community mailboxes for many years.
“Canada Post has the authority to place them where they want to, but having said that they have committed to working with the jurisdiction to help resolve issues and concerns,” Screech said. “My understanding is they’ve been good and respectful in working with our staff and I hope that continues.”
He said even his own house will eventually have one as well and he has reservations about implementation for his Burnside Street home, including uncertainty on where it would be safe to pull over and collect mail, especially with little in the way of street lights in his area. He has not yet been informed of where his neighbourhood’s will be going.
“I would encourage residents if they have concerns to bring them forward,” Screech continued. “It is important for us to hear what the concerns are, and if they do the town will endeavour to work with Canada Post to address (them).”
Canada Post’s Anick Losier said the conversion initiative on Vancouver Island began with Victoria, Langford, Colwood, Saanich, Esquimalt, View Royal, Songhees 1A, Sidney, North Saanich and Campbell River. She said communications started with an online survey for residents to provide preferences and concerns.
“From there, we planned sites and worked with city officials to finalize the location,” Losier said. “We also knocked on the doors of residents’ whose property would be adjacent to a proposed site to gather more feedback.”
She said modifications based on feedback, where it was warranted, is already taking place and residents have been kept in the loop through letters for each milestone. The next step will be installation of the sites, and that is en route for the coming months.
“Overall, we have seen a high level of engagements from residents throughout Vancouver Island. We have received a lot of feedback which was very useful to selecting site locations,” Losier said. “Our work continues and we invite anyone who may have concerns or questions to contact us directly.”
Anyone can call 1-844-454-3009 if they have any questions about the Canada Post conversion program.