Monday, May 29, 2006

Canada Post screws up again

You know, like most Americans, I used to complain about the Post Office. Well, let me tell you, after two years of living in Canada, not anymore! I love the U.S. Postal Service!!! And it's stuff like this that tells you why:

Canada Post reviews rural route delivery

FREDERICTON -- One of the most familiar symbols of rural life -- the mailbox with a flag at the end of a country driveway -- could soon become just a memory.

Canada Post is reviewing the way it delivers mail to rural areas as a result of a growing number of health and safety complaints from the drivers who put mail in rural boxes.

Health and saftey complaints? Huhhhh? Yeah, me neither. Well, read on:

Canada Post spokeswoman Avril Vollenhoven said Monday delivery to rural mailboxes has been cut off in several areas across the country, including a number of routes in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, because drivers have complained that road conditions are too dangerous or they are suffering repetitive stress injuries from loading the boxes.

"Since November, 2005, we have had over 200 drivers refuse to deliver the mail,'' Vollenhoven said in an interview.

. . . Drivers most often complain about heavy traffic and poor visibility as making conditions on the roads unsafe.

That's right, whiny rural route drivers in the Maritimes (and Quebec, naturellement) are complaining about unsafe rural road conditions and (classic) repetitive stress injuries as reasons to not show up for work. So Canada Post abruptly stops delivering the mail in the affected areas. What a great solution!

Interesting that the Postal Workers' Union itself, which the rural drivers apparently only joined a couple of years ago, is against eliminating rural delivery - darn right! Why don't they get right-hand drive vehicles like American postal drivers use? That seems like it would help a lot here.

Frankly, the biggest problem is that Canada Post is a crown corporation waaaaay too enamored of its profit to make decent service improvements - what American liberals fear the U. S. Postal Service would become, I guess, if it was solely driven by profit motive (ironic, I know). Remember, a national government has three main responsibilities: Defend the borders, maintain diplomacy, and deliver the mail! (Health care, not so much.)

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