One week after “incident,” no mail leaving Cambridge Bay post office

Mail and parcels can still be picked up during new temporary hours

Residents of Cambridge Bay can now check their mail boxes and pick up parcels at the post office, but cannot send any mail out until new staff is hired. (File photo)

By Mélanie Ritchot

One week after an “incident” with a customer prompted a staff member at Cambridge Bay’s post office to close early, no mail is being sent out and three positions are still vacant, according to an official with Canada Post.

Until Feb. 5, the office will be open on weekdays from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. for mailbox access and parcels can only be picked up between 4 p.m. and 6:30, said Dale LeClair, Canada Post’s director of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

“We have some staffing issues and so these hours are temporary while we hire full-time staff,” he stated in an email.

LeClair said outgoing mail is a challenge because more staff needs to be hired and trained on the computer system.

An employee closed the office on Jan. 21 because they did not want to deal with a “difficult” customer, LeClair told Nunatsiaq News on Jan. 22.

“From what I’ve heard, they didn’t feel safe,” he said.

There are three job postings on Canada Post’s website for positions in Cambridge Bay, including the position of postmaster.

In mid-December, the post office closed when the community’s former postmaster, Bo Wallenius, and another employee quit, blaming rude customers, racist comments and accusations of stealing packages.

“If someone is looking for or knows someone looking for a challenging career please tag them,” stated a post on the hamlet’s Facebook page.

From mid-December until last week, two temporary staff members were running the post office. One of them closed the office doors last week. It is not known whether that employee still works there.

Many community members had commented on now-private Facebook posts about the incident, calling on Canada Post to get a security guard in the office.

LeClair said different options were discussed last week with the hamlet and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, a national organization representing Canada’s Inuit, including hiring security guards.

This will not be Canada Post’s first step because of concerns it would be off-putting for the community, said LeClair, adding that it’s more likely a physical barrier will be added at the counter to separate customers and staff.

“We are working diligently to resolve this issue as quickly as possible,” said LeClair.

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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by Missing Bo on

    Bo was truly one-of-a-kind for Cambridge Bay. It will be nearly impossible to find a replacement as caring, hard-working and humble as him. I hope people apply, but the truth is nobody wants to work in a hostile environment with little to no support for $20 an hour.

  2. Posted by resident on

    Jim, we all miss you. Canada Post, please allow Jim to return.

    • Posted by anonymous on

      I agree with you, Jim always had a smile or something to say to customers -he is missed! Last week, I passed an elder lady, even at her age still walks or drive her quad spring/summer. We acknowledge each other & she says in inuinaktun -Post office is not the same anymore. Come on Canada Post, there are elders out in the community that check for mail just like everyone else. Don’t understand why if someone is harassing and/or bullying postal workers, they don’t report this to the local rcmp.

  3. Posted by trapper Don on

    Why do you allow a few HOSTILES to ruin it for everyone?

  4. Posted by Paul Murphy on

    Perhaps if the residents dealt with the hostiles themselves. Speak to him/her yourselves. In future I would suggest the RCMP be called if someone threatens a postal worker.

  5. Posted by OFB on

    “This [security guards] will not be Canada Post’s first step because of concerns it would be off-putting for the community”, said LeClair
    Nice when someone in Ottawa thinks he knows what’s best for the North. More lip service from someone that has no idea what he’s talking about. Maybe he should ask ITK why no inuit want to work at Canada Post instead? Notice that Health Centres have security guards? Some stores have security guards? Sounds like he just doesn’t want to have to pay for Security.
    He should come to Cambay and walk a mile in the shoes of a Nunavut Postal worker before he starts blabbering on about what he thinks is best

  6. Posted by Thumbs up on

    I love the new thumbs up / down option, Nunatsiaq. But will say it would be very easy to manipulate, unfortunately.

  7. Posted by boris pasternak on

    Mail order pot not coming on time? Addiction causes rotten moods in ppl and they are most miserable ppl to deal with when a withdrawal is at initial stages.

    • Posted by Not all pot smokers on

      Pot isn’t hard to quit at all. Takes a few days to shake it off but then everything falls into place.
      That’s only you’re in a good place mentally. People who act out because they don’t have pot are in a bad place mentally and pot probably isn’t helping…. Though they might say it helps them.

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