Should monitor contracts
Another Cartwright resident, Kristin Pardy, waited about three weeks for 31 packages to arrive. Like Patricia Wadden, the wait began in late June.
The packages included her essentials such as pampers and baby wipes, as well as sippy cups, school supplies, sneakers, clothing to wear for a friend’s wedding, and more. The waiting has caused much frustration for Pardy and her family.
“Most people in town had been waiting on a lot of packages by that point,” said Pardy. “We’re a small town and we only have a couple of stores and they don’t carry a lot of stuff. Somebody like me, with two small chi ldren and a dog, pretty much everything that I can’ t f ind at Northern, I have to order online.”
Canada Post spokesperson, John Caines, admits there have been delays with mail delivery to Cartwright all year. Much of the problem, during winter and spring, had to do with the condition of the highway that, according to Caines, was causing damage to t h e del iver y trucks.
“This was an issue for some time,” said Caines. “The mail was going on the road, as you know. We had some vehicles and — to be honest — they were getting beat up pretty bad. That road is really terrible.”
Caines said the contractor hired to provide the vehicles was down two cube vans at the same time at one point. The only thing that could be found to replace the vehicles was a rented pick- up truck.
Because of all the problems on the Trans Labrador Highway, Canada Post began t o del iver Car twright ’ s mai l through Air Labrador flights.
Accordin g to Caines, t h e recent, lengthy delay experienced by residents like Wadden and Pardy, was caused by an internal mistake.
This error caused mai l to be stuck between Quebec and the Maritimes.
“It was an internal adjustment we had to make in our own systems, that wasn’t properly done… between Montreal and Moncton,” said Caines.
“There were some issues, these were internal issues to Canada Post… we realize there was a delay, and we certainly apologize for that. It’s my understanding, now, that it’s been fixed and the mail should be getting in there regularly.”
Mail flights to Cartwright will continue for now and into the foreseeable future. The packages will be delivered on Air Labrador’s scheduled flights on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
For Labrador MP Yvonne Jones, mail delivery to the South Coast of Labrador was — and still is — an issue she wants dealt with.
While Cartwright is now getting mail via plane, the rest of the southern communities are still getting truck delivery, which, according to Jones, has not been good enough.
“My issue is with Canada Post. Canada Post has an obligation to ensure timely delivery of mail, to ensure that there are services provided in all regions of the country,” said Jones. “If they put out contracts on this service, they should monitor them and make sure it’s being done appropriately.
“The mail service has been bad ever since this contractor took it over.”
Caines, however, believes southern Labrador communities will all be getting better service soon, thanks to new vehicles that the contractor has obtained.
“The contractor now has two new vehicles and a back- up vehicle. So we’re confident that the equipment will be good.”
derek. montague@ thelabradorian. ca