Canada Post mailbox relocation raises concerns for Biscotasing residents

For most people, picking up mail involves a short walk or drive to the mailbox — perhaps even a couple of steps onto the porch. But for residents in Biscotasing, a small community of 30 people located 120 kilometres northwest of Sudbury, sending or receiving mail now involves a two-hour round-trip to a community mailbox further away.Canada Post community mailboxes serving Biscotasing were relocated to Watershed 144, located at the crossroads of Highway 144, 560, and the Sultan Industrial Road in Gogama, Ont.Prior to relocation, the community mailboxes were only accessible by a privately managed, unpaved road with ongoing logging operations.In a statement to CBC News, Canada Post said their carriers encountered significant safety issues including broken windshields due to flying debris, flat tires and being forced off the road by oncoming logging vehicles.After reviewing the delivery route, Canada Post decided it was a health and safety risk for its employees.”We communicated to the community the relocation of the community mailboxes to a convenient location where the majority of Biscotasing residents conduct other business such as buying groceries or gas,” said the statement.Prior to Canada Post’s relocation, the community mailboxes were only accessible by a privately managed, unpaved road with ongoing logging operations. (Erik White/CBC )Resident Ray Hatfield says he’s heard concern from neighbours who say they can’t afford to pick up their mail on a regular basis due to the cost of gasoline and rising food prices.”It’s just making things very challenging and very difficult,” Hatfield said.”It’s just not one person, not just one residence. People have to drive out, wear and tear on their vehicles, on themselves. It was a very poor decision,” he said.AUDIO | Biscotasing residents now an hour away from mailboxes:Up North10:30Biscotasing residents now an hour away from mailboxesFor most of us, picking up the mail involves a short walk or drive to the mailbox – or perhaps it even arrives on your porch. Well, for residents in one northeastern community, sending or receiving a letter now involves a two-hour round trip. Ray Hatfield tells us what’s happening in Biscotasing.To minimize costs, Hatfield said he suggested picking one community member to make the drive instead of making everyone go individually.Biscotasing residents will have their mail delivered to the new site at Watershed 144 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Mail service destined for Biscotasing will now be delivered out of Shining Tree, approximately 50 kilometres from Watershed 144, instead of Chapleau, almost 300 kilometres away.”Mail delivery on these days was less reliable due to inclement weather, and most importantly the conditions of the road leading into the community,” Canada Post said in the statement.”The safety of our employees is our number one priority.”

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