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Cranbrook, B.C. seniors frustrated after Canada Posts stops delivering mail to care home

Click to play video: 'Cranbrook seniors upset over mail delivery snag due to vaccine mandate' Cranbrook seniors upset over mail delivery snag due to vaccine mandate
Crankbrook seniors say they are frustrated mail is not longer being sent to their home, as a vaccine mandate complicates delivery. Catherine Urquhart reports. – Oct 27, 2021

Residents of a Cranbrook, B.C. seniors’ home say they’re frustrated by delays receiving their mail due to what may be one or more unvaccinated Canada Post workers.

On Oct. 25, residents of Joseph Creek Village, a home operated by Golden Life Management, received a letter stating the lack of delivery is “based on the PHO mandate of all visitors being vaccinated.”

It’s been two weeks since resident Gus Meshwa received a letter and he said he’s “not very happy.”

“All of a sudden they want to cut it off,” he said, adding that he’s not sure why the mail stopped coming.

“We’re trying to fight it a little bit in order to get service back … It’s very inconvenient.”

Read more: Robots with iPads help B.C. long-term care residents connect with loved ones

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Public health officials in B.C. have mandated that all visitors to seniors’ homes across the province be fully-immunized against COVID-19, with the exception of residents who are ineligible.

According to the Oct. 25 letter shared with Global News, Golden Life Management has tried working with Canada Post to resolve the delays, “but Canada Post has been unwilling to make compromises or work with GLM Management Team to find an appropriate solution.”

The letter says Canada Post has informed Golden Life that it will not be delivering mail Joseph Creek Village, but residents can pick up their mail at the local post office, or fill out a form so someone else can do it on their behalf.

It’s problem for residents like Meshwa, who uses a wheelchair, and said “family can’t always come and help when you need them.”

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Impact of COVID-19 on long-term care homes in B.C – Oct 7, 2021

Golden Life has now involved the local member of Parliament in the stalemate, according to a statement to Global News.
“Canada Post has declined to deliver mail to various locations as they are unable to meet the Provincial Health Order,” wrote company vice-president Celeste Mullin.

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“Golden Life is working with our local MP and Canada Post to find a solution that ensures residents of Long Term Care and Assisted Living continue receiving postal services.”

Read more: British Columbians to be eligible for COVID-19 booster shot 6 to 8 months after second dose

In its own statement, Canada Post did not address claims about an unvaccinated postal worker.

“We have looked into this situation and can confirm that we are in contact with our customer to resolve this issue and have offered them an alternate temporary solution for them to receive their mail,” wrote spokesperson Nicole Lecompte.

“We continue to look for a permanent solution for mail delivery. We apologize to our customer and thank them for their understanding as we work to resolve this matter during these difficult times.”

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Ninety-year-old resident Evelyn Roussy said she’s frustrated by the lack of service.

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“I’d like to see the delivery restored. The post office boxes are here. They’re just sitting there idle. Why were they installed in the first place if they weren’t going to use them?” she asked.

“That’s all we want, is our mail delivery.”

Ida Aitzetmueller called it “just awful.”

“Whatever happened to rain, sleet or snow, the mail comes through?” she wondered.

“We are all over 80 and 90, and now the winter is coming, and we should go to the main office to pick up our mail? It’s just unreal.”

Read more: Another 457 COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in B.C. as province unveils booster shot plan

Canada Post’s main office in Cranbrook is about three kilometres from Joseph Creek Village.

Aitzetmueller said it’s Canada Post’s job, and Golden Life Management’s job to work out a solution that doesn’t place the onus to pick up on residents and their families.

“They should have a heart. Now we are old in wheelchairs and walkers and they expect us to go there? It’s just not right.”

She’s worried about how “upsetting” it will be for residents if they don’t receive any Christmas cards.

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