Civic addresses only Big changes coming to a postal outlet near you!

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Lynne Lavery

For over 15 years Canada Post has been changing how mail is sorted and delivered in rural areas; instead of using

Lynne Lavery

For over 15 years Canada Post has been changing how mail is sorted and delivered in rural areas; instead of using
personal names, or postal box numbers, the post office will soon use civic addresses only. Fort-Coulonge and Mansfield postmistress, Joan Dubeau told the Journal these changes are underway in her area; Shawville and Wakefield post offices will likely soon follow the new sorting system. 
Mansfield requested its own postal code about 10 years ago, and was given J0X1R0, Davidson’s code.  Since Mansfield has never had a post office, community mailboxes have been the norm with nine new community boxes installed since November of this year; residents were notified in their mail.   Rural delivery remains a combination of roadside boxes and community boxes, but there are only about 80 roadside boxes left in Mansfield, said Ms. Dubeau, and these have had to pass Canada Post safety standards.
Delivery changes are also coming to Fort Coulonge.  A new alphanumeric sorting
system, based on street names and civic numbers will be implemented sometime early in the new year, possibly in February.  Residents will no longer put box numbers as part of their address.  Residents will also likely be given a new box number where they are to pick up their mail; they will be given two weeks notice before the changes takes place.
The new system has its benefits and its challenges.  In rural areas more than 97% of residents who have switched from roadside boxes to community boxes are satisfied with the change, said Ms Dubeau, stating security and convenience  benefits.  In town, however, there are concerns by residents, particularly the elderly;  given that they have had the same box number for years,  they often see this as poor service, impersonal and confusing.  For businesses, who often purchase a postal box in town, the change to community boxes is also challenging; informing clients and suppliers of an address change is lengthy, but Canada Post does give these customers six
months of free re-direction service.  Residents who move from one civic address to another have to pay for re-direction service to a new box number or run the risk that their mail may be returned to sender.
According to Ms Dubeau, although the changes have caused some inconvenience during the implementation stage, once completed things will be easier for the postal workers, especially those who are not from the area or are temporary staff.  In Shawville, postmistress Lise Essiambre says that when they receive the final directive, it will be a huge job to implement; however, she continued by stating it is just one more change that local post offices will have to do, based on Canada Post’s rules and regulations.