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Canada Post delivery to B.C. assisted living facility on hold over vaccination concerns

Canada Post has declined to deliver mail to various locations, Golden Life says
Golden Life’s Kootenay Street Village in Cranbrook has been notified that since Golden Life requires visitors to be fully vaccinated, Canada Post will no longer be delivering their mail. (Barry Coulter photo)

An assisted living facility in Cranbrook says it is experiencing interruptions in its mail service due to a new policy that all visitors and contractors must be fully vaccinated to enter the facility.

Earlier this week, residents at Golden Life-owned facilities: Kootenay Street Village and Joseph Creek Village in Cranbrook were advised that they will no longer have mail delivery by Canada Post. Instead, residents are obliged to go to the post office to collect their mail.

“As per Provincial Health Orders, all contractors and visitors to long-term care and assisted living must be fully vaccinated,” said Golden Life vice-president Celeste Mullin in a statement. “Canada Post has declined to deliver mail to various locations as they are unable to meet the Provincial Health Order. 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.”

RELATED: B.C. requires long-term care staff, visitor vaccination by Oct. 12

Kathryn Ford, whose father is a resident in Cranbrook, said the solution to have residents pick up the mail is unreasonable, in light of the fact that many don’t drive, or have mobility issues.

“The ‘solution’ to that is they can fill out a form designating someone to pick up for them. But not all JCV residents have a local contact. And while those in independent living could figure this designation system out, others might not be able to or have the physical ability to do so.”

Doris Wright, a resident at Kootenay Street Village, expressed similar frustration with the situation.

“I know in other [medical facilities] in town, they have been bundling mail and dropping it at the door for two years. Why can’t they do that here?” she said.

Canada Post told Black Press that they have looked into the situation are working to resolve it. They added that they have offered an “alternate temporary solution” in the meantime.

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

According to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers website, union members must “attest” their vaccination status between October 29 and November 12, 2021. After November 26, members who have not provided their status will be contacted and reminded that it is required to work. Members who refuse to comply will be deemed unwilling and placed on leave without pay.

Members who are fully vaccinated will continue to report to work as usual. Members who are partially vaccinated and intending to become fully vaccinated must be fully vaccinated by January 29, 2022.

RELATED: Workers fired for refusing vaccines likely won’t get EI, minister says

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Barry Coulter

About the Author: Barry Coulter

Barry Coulter had been Editor of the Cranbrook Townsman since 1998, and has been part of all those dynamic changes the newspaper industry has gone through over the past 20 years.
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