Golden Life’s new policy that all contractors and visitors to its seniors care and assisted living facilities be fully vaccinated has resulted in disruption in its mail delivery services. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated postal workers will no longer deliver the mail.
Earlier this week, residents at 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 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.”
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,” she wrote the Townsman in an email.
“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.”
“I guess if we’re in wheelchairs or walkers, we’ll just have to fight the wind, snow and rain,” said one resident of Joseph Creek, in a phone message left with the Townsman.
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.
“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,” Canada Post Media Relations told the Townsman in an email.
“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 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. After November 26, 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.