Some residents on Lasqueti Island say they were unable to access their mail for nearly a week, after a reported issue between Canada Post and a worker regarding a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
According to island residents, the postmaster locked Lasqueti’s only Canada Post office on Friday, Nov. 26.
“Some members of our community rely on the post office to be able to get crucial medication,” said Sylvain Lieutaghi, an island resident for the past 30 years, and who receives work-related documents through the mail.
“So not having mail, being located on Lasqueti, is very complicated. Especially in the winter when a lot of services are cancelled. So it’s extremely inconvenient.”
Before the post office was locked last Friday, Lieutaghi claimed the postmaster only allowed residents to pick up their mail from the porch outside the building, since a public health order on wearing face masks while indoors was put in place.
The island is 60-minute boat ride from the French Creek government wharf just north of Parksville.
An email to PQB News from Canada Post’s media relations department stated a contingency plan to resume mail delivery to community mailboxes for Lasqueti Island residents has been put in place, with mail being delivered on Thursday, Dec. 2, and Friday, Dec. 3.
The service will then resume its regular three days a week schedule on Mondays, Thursday and Fridays. Parcels that require identification for pickup and signature, however, will need to be collected at the Parksville post office.
“With regard to Canada Post’s mandatory vaccine practice, it came into effect on Nov. 27. It’s in line with the federal government’s approach and applies to all employees – those working in a Canada Post facility and those working remotely,” read the email.
The email indicated while they are not releasing numbers at this time, the majority of Canada Post employees comply with the practice. Employees not currently in compliance were to be placed on leave without pay.