Prolonged Canada Post mail service shutdown caused health risk in Fort Chipewyan

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsCanada Post is refusing to explain how it allowed mail to go undelivered in Fort Chipewyan, Alta., for nearly 10 days, putting the health of residents in this isolated community at risk as medical supplies ran dangerously low.A Canada Post spokesperson said mail service resumed Tuesday and “should start to become more regular as we continue to work on a more permanent solution.”Caroline Adam, health director for Nunee Health Board Society, said medicine like antibiotics and pain killers sat locked in a freight van for the duration of the post office shut down. Adam said health officials were preparing to take a financial hit and re-order all their medicine from Fort McMurray, Alta., to avoid a health crisis.Adam said Canada Post’s service shut-down posed a “serious risk to our community member’s health.” She said the Crown corporation did not bother communicating with the health board or other community organizations during the service shut down.“We were worried. It poses a health risk to our clients who depend on the medication that is sitting in the post office,” she said. “Nobody in the community knew what was going on.”Fort Chipewyan is home to many Mikisew Cree First Nation members and the Mikisew Cree have undeveloped reserve land by the hamlet. There is no all-season road linking the community to the rest of Alberta.Carley Smith, media relations manager for Canada Post, refused to answer repeated questions seeking an explanation for what happened and how the mail services shut-down could have lasted for nearly two weeks.“We have had some unexpected staffing issues. We are working as quickly as possible to resolve these issues and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” said Smith.Transport Minister Lisa Raitt is responsible for Canada Post. Raitt’s office said Canada Post is “an arms-length Crown corporation, responsible for its own operations.”Adam said it was her understanding that Canada Post had a part-time casual worker staffing the community’s post office, but medical issues forced the individual to leave the position. The Crown Corporation was then expected to have someone in place by June 9, but nothing happened and the mail kept piling up, undelivered.“I believe somebody should be reprimanded for allowing this to occur,” said Adam. “Especially in an isolated community where we depend quite solely on our mail delivery system.”Adam is sending a letter to Canada Post expressing concern over the [email protected]@JorgeBarreralast_img

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