Should mon­i­tor con­tracts

The Labradorian - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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