Clarification from Canada Post revealed it will proceed with a planned postal code change regardless of whether it has the regional district’s support.
At its May 2023 meeting, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board received a request for support of a postal code change in electoral areas C and G. The board was informed 1,012 households would be affected.
Canada Post communicated the goal is to support a future route restructure planned for October 2023, and that routes would be renamed as part of the change. Canada Post anticipated beginning public engagement in July, and said it would offer free mail forwarding for 12 months to those affected.
The board held off on voting to support Canada Post until its June meeting. Area C director Marty Gibbons was the only voice opposed, arguing public consultation was needed.
The CSRD’s letter of support was on the agenda for the board’s July 20 meeting. Gibbons again raised concern about a lack of information, and that the board would be giving its support without knowing what it is supporting.
“We were asked to comment on a proposed change… to address changes in the demographics in that area that were going to require a new postal code to facilitate their deliveries,” explained CSRD administrator John McClean. “We supported them in that change. They provided the information the board required and Canada Post is going to be proceeding with the process that they have to introduce the new postal code to that area.”
Gibbons said he was concerned the CSRD giving its support would be viewed as having completed public consultation.
CSRD corporate services manager Jennifer Sham explained another communication from Canada Post noted use of the word “support” had been in error, and that “it is an administrative process that they go through and that there is no consultation, and that it was a heads up to let us know they’re doing it.”
Gibbons said this was very different to what the board had discussed and voted on.
“What I want assurances of, and hopefully this board will support, is that once they know what exactly they’re going to do, they properly communicate and consult with the people affected,” said Gibbons.
Area G director Natalya Melnychuk said she spoke with Canada Post and was told it would be sending letters to affected residents informing them of the change, explaining their year of coverage and giving them an opportunity to take advantage of mail forwarding.
“It’s not something they’re looking for consultation on, but to inform… that’s their process and the people that will be affected will be informed by mail, by hard mail, that they will receive,” said Melnychuk.
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