Southside post office delayed until April

Canada Post will no longer open a temporary postal service in Shoppers Drug Mart but will wait to build a permanent facility in the store.

Port Alberni residents living on the south side of town will have to travel to the main Canada Post depot at Pacific Rim Shopping Centre until a new outlet is built at Shoppers Drug Mart, likely later this spring.

Canada Post changed its mind about opening a temporary outlet at Shoppers once its outlet at Fairway Market closes on Jan. 31.

The Victoria-based grocery store chain announced in November that it will close its Port Alberni location, in the 10th Avenue Plaza.

“We are looking forward to providing our full range of postal services once renovations are completed at Shoppers Drug Mart,” Canada Post spokesperson Phil Legault said.

“We are working hard together in getting this done as quickly as possible, and anticipate an opening in April. While we did look at offering some temporary services, the logistics and infrastructure did not meet our needs,” he said.

“Once Fairway closes all the postal services revert to the main post office,” a Shoppers Drug Mart spokesperson said. “Once our postal outlet is built we’ll open up here.”

Shoppers announced just under two weeks ago that it had successfully bid to host the South Port  postal outlet once Fairway closed.

Putting in the post office will require construction and a reorganization of the Shoppers interior, said the spokesperson.

“We have to move aisles and it’s a little bit of a process.”

A date for the start of construction is unknown, but both Legault and the Shoppers spokesperson were confident it would happen by April at the latest.

“It’s in everyone’s best interest that it’s done this way,” she said.