Postal service almost back to normal in Cambridge Bay after three weeks

“Hopefully Monday or Tuesday” outgoing mail will be accepted, says Canada Post director

Two new employees have been hired at Cambridge Bay’s post office and interviews are ongoing for the vacant position of postmaster. (File photo)

By Mélanie Ritchot

Cambridge Bay’s post office is one step closer to business as usual with two new employees in training and outgoing mail expected to resume next week, says Dale LeClair, Canada Post’s director of Indigenous and northern affairs.

Normal postal services cannot resume until the new hires are trained, he said.

“It’s our hope that they will complete this training in the coming week.”

Outgoing mail and parcels have only been accepted for a total of two hours in the last three weeks.

LeClair said they are trying to accommodate some outgoing mail before the new staff are done training, “hopefully Monday or Tuesday.”

Service was disrupted on Jan. 22 after an employee closed the office early following an “incident” with a “difficult” customer, LeClair told Nunatsiaq News on the day of the closure.

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

After the incident, Canada Post and the hamlet were in talks about what could be done to avoid more incidents in the future.

LeClair said an existing Plexiglas barrier in the office might be extended across the entire service counter and “our operations director is looking at something more substantive if necessary.”

This was the second service interruption at the community’s post office in several months.

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.

From mid-December until this week, when the two new full-time employees were hired, two temporary staff members were running the post office.

The full-time position of postmaster is still vacant and applicant interviews are ongoing, LeClair said.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Just privatize it on

    Just put Canada Post in Northern Store or Co-op and let their staff deal with all the bs, just like that in the rest of Nunavut. Should do it in Kug too aways see rude customers being angry at workers for no plane and no mail. Staff will just keep on quitting yet. Crappy low paying job too.

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    • Posted by Jim Bo on

      Yeah, Give my federal mail to a Northmart worker, What’s wrong with you? oh yeah that’s right, your from Coppermine……

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  2. Posted by Customer on

    Happy, hope the customers will learn from this as we cannot expect airline to arrive with mail especially during the Pandemic!!!! The Post Office staff puts up with rude customers, they work hard to sort your mail when arrived! Learn to be friggin Patience! The workers may not have enough pay at least they work hard to make sure all mails are sorted out – incoming/outgoing mails.

  3. Posted by anonymous on

    Happy to hear, pray all goes well with the new workers. What boggles me is if Bo was being harassed or bullied, why didn’t he report these to his supervisor and/or launch a complain with the RCMP? With him quitting just like that had the community upset, especially the elders. Sorry but not sorry for mentioning it, my 2 cents.

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    • Posted by Supervisor and/or RCMP on

      The fact that you think either of these parties you mention would have done absolutely anything speaks volumes. It is no secret that the RCMP can’t really do much about harassment and the supervisors likely can’t be bothered. I am sure the employees tried both these avenues more than once and got nowhere. Its one of the harsh reality of dealing with the public in the north.

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    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      HR issues are usually kept confidential but I would be absolutely shocked if there aren’t a litany of internal of formal complaints already within the Canada Post system regarding this issue. Whether or not Canada Post followed up on them is another matter. In any event this isn’t on the employee it is on the community and the employer.

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