Rural mailbox conversions are moving too slowly

Mailboxes like these are stronger than the old ones, and rural areas need them.

Mailboxes like these are stronger than the old ones, and rural areas need them.

It’s time Canada Post started paying more attention to the problem of break-ins at community mailboxes in rural areas, and the TNRD will ask that it become more of a priority.

I’m frustrated with the fact that just as it seemed we were getting somewhere, Canada Post has taken a step backward. The regional office of Canada Post committed early this year to replacing the old mailboxes in Pinantan with new, stronger, boxes. Nearby Gottfriedson Estates was also on the radar.

Both those group boxes have been hit by break-ins and mail theft a number of times.

When I checked back recently to ask why the switch hasn’t been made yet, the answer was that Canada Post has changed directions. It is currently focusing on upgrading community boxes within Kamloops and Merritt. Rural areas outside those two municipalities are being addressed only on an as-needed basis.

That means if your rural community mailbox is robbed, it must be reported quickly. Then Canada Post will put it in line for a new one.

Yet, many community mailboxes in the region have a history of break-ins. Must they wait for another one before the post office takes action? Paul Lake was recently hit. Black Pines has been hit in the past.

Some directors said they aren’t having problems in their electoral areas, but Ken Gillis of Electoral Area L said Pritchard has been hit by mail thieves in the past, forcing residents at times to use the store for pickup during opening hours. The old boxes haven’t been replaced.

At Thursday’s TNRD board meeting, I asked that the regional district request Canada Post to pro-actively address the issue and give rural mailboxes more attention within the conversion program.

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