Issue 28, Volume 85
Jan. 23, 2013
The Sandwich 107-year-old Sandwich Town post office is slated to close its doors this spring
Canada Post has announced the closure of the historic Sandwich Town post office and job cuts to its Walker Road Sorting station to cut costs.
Located just west of the University of Windsor, the building itself was constructed in 1905 at a cost of $15,000 for the Dominion Government. Postal service in the area dates back to 1800.
The reasons for the closure, expected this spring, are quite simple according to Canada Post spokesperson Anick Losier.
“The way the people use Canada Post has changed tremendously over the past
few years,” said Losier. “If you look at 2012 in terms of the number of letters that we processed compared to the year before, we’re seeing about two million less letters a day in our systems across the nation.”
What this means for Canada Post is a decrease in the total number of people coming through their doors. For the first time in 16 years, Canada Post recorded a loss of $327 million dollars.
“All of that means that for us is the status quo is no longer possible,” explained Losier, adding, “We need to explore ways to make our network the most efficient it can be because at the end of the day. If we have a deficit, the taxpayers would
bare the brunt of it, and for us, that’s not an option.”
Windsor West Member of Parliament Brian Masse questions why during War of 1812 celebrations that Canada Post would decide to close the facility located at the epicentre of the war. For Masse, losing the Sandwich post office itself is not an option.
“It’s a terrible situation that is very difficult for the community to deal with because it’s not only just the business loss, it’s also the symbolism as well,” commented Masse. “Another institution is pulling out of Sandwich Town or wants to and that’s not helpful to the current environment.”
Masse hopes to see more support and an overall plan to help alleviate the problems facing Sandwich because the area has been continually suffering due
to border issues.
“What’s unconscionable about the Canada Post decision is that they chose to do this, [by] just giving notice that they want to close it instead of actually coming forward and saying to myself or identifying to the Business Improvement Association that there is a potential problem with the current post office,” said Masse.
No jobs will be affected by the closure of the post office as Canada Post employees have job security, and Losier explained that existing employees would be reassigned to another location.
Losier said that while no decision has been made yet, “what this is about is about consulting with the community, finding out how their postal service would be affected, and then we make a decision based on that and based on the number of
people that actually come in, the type of revenue we measure and make sure that our network is as efficient as possible.”
Canada Post is currently in a tight financial situation as the postal industry is rapidly changing worldwide due to increased electronic communication.
“Canada Post wants to be viable for the future, wants to be there, and wants to continue delivering to the 15 million addresses that we do each day,” said Losier. “But in order to do that, and in order to maintain the network that we have, we
need to do things differently.”
Canada Post has begun a 30-day consultation process to determine how the closure of the Sandwich post office would affect their access to postal service.
Jon Liedtke was the Features and Opinions Editor, Advertising Manager and Deficit Consultant at the UWindsor Lance.