(This editorial went to press prior to the announcement that Shoppers Drug Mart would be hosting a postal outlet.)
News that Fairway Market was going to close at the end of January came as a surprise to many in the community, including Canada Post.
Fairway Market has long provided a postal outlet in a corner of its 10th Avenue store, and has been a pickup place for parcels for South Port for many years. It used to be one of two postal outlets in South Port, the other one being the main post office on Argyle Street across from city hall.
When that facility closed down and moved to the postal centre behind Pacific Rim Shopping Centre, on Johnston Road at Tebo Avenue, nearly a decade ago another smaller outlet opened in the commercial building at Argyle and Kingsway Avenue. That outlet didn’t stay open for more than a few years. When it closed, Canada Post promised it would still provide an outlet for South Port.
In a couple of weeks, the outlet at Fairway Market will no longer be available.
Until recently, Canada Post’s line has been ‘we’ll call you if we have any news’ about a replacement outlet.
Although we can appreciate a few weeks’ notice isn’t much time for a large corporation such as Canada Post, the silence is worrisome.
In a time when the national postal service has promoted the use of community mail boxes over door-to-door service due to supposed cost savings, we worry that the closure of the Fairway Market outlet will be a convenient way for Canada Post to say ‘sorry, it’s a cost saving measure.’
Port Alberni is too spread out to not have a second outlet on the other side of town.
We hope rumours that other stores have bid for the service are true, and that Canada Post finds an alternative.