Canada Post is becoming a lightning rod on Rankin Inlet’s social media.
The company has been taking to Facebook to update the community almost every working day on the store’s hours and any news of closures. The posts have been garnering dozens of comments, debate and calls for change to mailing in the North.
“Canada Post is getting very frustrating,” said one Chesterfield Inlet resident to Kivalliq News.
The resident requested anonymity, and though many people publicly commented on Canada Post’s updates, they also did not want to share their names with local media.
“I’ve sent packages to Kuglugtuk and Kuujjuak (Quebec), and they still haven’t arrived since late October/early November,” said the resident. “I’ve also been waiting for packages from Arviat since mid-October and still haven’t heard a word back from Canada Post.”
The individual shared a screenshot of their tracked package, which showed the item being picked up in Chesterfield Inlet Nov. 24 and still “in transit” as of Feb. 2.
“Even when I go check the local post office, they say they’ve sent it and request us to check with the Kivalliq main hub, which is based in Rankin Inlet,” said the resident, who went on to say how ridiculous it was that packages sent from Nunavut take so long to get anywhere, whereas packages from the south get up North far more quickly.
Rankin Inlet Mayor Harry Towtongie noted how Covid-19 seems to be turning things on and off all the time, and said, “We are getting so good at being patient.”
Kivalliq News reached out to Canada Post when the Rankin Inlet office was closed for two days Jan. 27 and 28.
Valérie Chartrand, media relations worker with Canada Post, said that closure was “due to Covid-19 cleaning protocols and employee isolation, as directed by public health.”
The post office went on to open Feb. 1 and 2 for customers to access their postal boxes only, and then on Feb. 3 to also pick up parcels from the counter.
“We recognize the difficulties facing residents of Rankin Inlet,” Chartrand stated. “We are working hard to keep the post office operating and open as it faces various challenges as seen across the territory, such as weather and staffing issues related Covid-19. We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available. We appreciate our customers’ understanding and cooperation during this time and thank them for staying patient and keeping the post office friendly.”
Kivalliq News followed up by asking if Canada Post would bolster staffing and resources at the Rankin Inlet outlet or any of the Kivalliq facilities to avoid this problem in the future. As of publication deadline, Canada Post had not responded.
However, it seemed sentiment had change by the weekend. Canada Post opened on Sunday, Feb. 6, for full services, which was met with many thanks on Facebook.