Under a new postmaster, Cambridge Bay post office looks to better days

Location to operate under shortened hours until new staff trained up

Cambridge Bay’s post office at 4 Kamotik St. is still operating under reduced hours, with a security guard in place. (File photo by Jane George)

By Jane George

After four months of searching, Cambridge Bay has a new postmaster.

That person and another new full-time employee are in the hamlet and in training, said Dale LeClair, Canada Post’s director of Indigenous and northern affairs. He did not give a date for when they start work.

The post office abruptly shut its doors when the former long-time postmaster and another employee walked off the job. They cited verbal abuse from clients.

Since then, its hours have been unstable, with a high staff turnover and irregular hours.

The post office will continue with shortened hours “for a little longer,” said LeClair.

Those hours are Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Since the beginning of March, a security guard has been stationed at the branch as well.

“As the new team and customers gets acclimatized with each other, we will re-evaluate the ongoing need to have a security guard,” LeClair said.

He couldn’t say for sure which other post offices across the country have security guards.

“Anecdotally I do know we have them in some locations,” LeClair said.

“It is certainly not unlike what we’ve seen across the country within a variety of stores that have a security guard at the entrance.”

Many people in the western Nunavut community of about 1,800 have said they are increasingly fed up with their post office’s erratic hours.

Some have complained on social media about waiting outside the post office in -37 C, only to find out it wouldn’t be opening on time.

“It’s certainly disrupted business in the community,” said Marla Limousin, the chief administrative officer of Cambridge Bay.

“The mail coming is so terribly slow and the mail going out is nonexistent at times, so those people who are depending on that service have gone to alternative means [such as air cargo] which cost them a lot more.”

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