Harcourt is losing its post office out of the South Algonquin County Store Aug. 14, but Canada Post is replacing it with community mailboxes.
Canada Post is installing them at the Harcourt Community Centre Aug. 17. However, parcel services and stamps are being moved to the Wilberforce Post Office in Agnew’s General Store.
South Algonquin County Store owner Jonghee Lee said the move came after he decided to resign from having the outlet. He said he made the decision given the difficult workload and years of failed attempts to negotiate with Canada Post for more support, such as a postage scanner to reduce paperwork or a new contract.
“It’s a pity,” Lee said. “But it’s out of my hands.”
When asked about Lee’s concerns, Canada Post media relations spokesperson Hayley Magermans declined to respond directly.
“The Canada Post outlet in the South Algonquin County Store will close due to reasons beyond our control,” Magermans said. “We do not disclose details of Canada Post contracts and agreements.”
Lee said the workload took too much time between filling forms and sorting packages, even though he did not mind helping postage customers. He also noted it was difficult finding space for all the packages.
“I can’t hire just one person here (at the post outlet) all day long, it doesn’t make any sense,” Lee said, adding his staff are occupied with other parts of the store such as the LCBO outlet. “I don’t have time for this.”
Lee said there is a positive to the move, in that the mailboxes will be more constantly accessible for smaller mail compared to his store.
“It might be better. They can use a key 24/7,” he said.
Dysart council addressed the change briefly at its July 28 meeting. Mayor Andrea Roberts said it is good that people will not have to change their mailing addresses, which can happen with these transitions.
“They do have compartments there for fairly small and medium-sized parcels,” Roberts said. “Any larger parcels for delivery will be in Wilberforce, which will work, I think.”
Anyone with questions on the change can contact Canada Post customer service at 1-866-607-6301.
Lee said he offered to at least continue providing a space for packages only, but Canada Post would not go for it.
“Canada Post, they’re a big company. I’m just a small guy, in a small business, in a small town,” Lee said. “Sorry to my neighbours for my resignation.”