Canada Post says door-to-door mail delivery will end in Nelson next year.
The company said it informed municipal officials and employees on Wednesday that everyone whose postal code starts with VIL — nearly 3,600 addresses — will be converted to community mailboxes in 2016.
“This is part of a five-year initiative to convert one-third of Canadian addresses who still have delivery at the door to community mailboxes in an effort to secure postal service for the future,” said spokesman John Caines.
“Since the program began in 2014, one million addresses have been or are in the various stages of the conversion process.”
Affected residents are expected to an information package in the next few days with a mail-in survey from Canada Post.
The move has been heavily criticized by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and community leaders.
The company says no employees will lose their job as a result of the initiative, but it will reduced its workforce through attrition as people retire.
However, Brenda Muscoby-Yanke, president of the Nelson postal workers union, said management has informed carriers that a restructuring will occur in late winter or early spring.
“This will mean the work force will be cut into half approximately,” she said. “Not only will it affect our members but also the company that delivers parcels and employs five people.”
She said community mailboxes make sense in rural areas with a scattered population, “but when you have these boxes sitting in neighbourhoods of dense population, it’s a serious issue as to how safe your mail is.”
She said said a rally is being planned for Aug. 17 in Nelson, which national president Mike Palecek is expected to attend.