Canada Post employee COVID-19 vaccine mandate disrupts small town parcel service

The only Canada Post location in Lamont, Alta. was “temporarily closed” Monday, the same day a nation-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandate took effect for Canada Post workers.

As of Nov. 26, employees were required to be at least partially vaccinated or were place on leave without pay, the company said.

The local president of the Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association (CPAA), which represents more than 500 rural Canada Post employees in Alberta, told Global News at least six other Canada Post locations could not open Monday due to staff shortages.

Read more: Canadians divided over when COVID-19 vaccine mandates should be lifted: poll

It wasn’t immediately clear if the vaccine mandate was the reason for the closure in Lamont, but residents drew their own conclusions.

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“(I’m) very upset,” said resident Dianne Prusak. “I’ve got parcels coming in. How do I get them?”

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In a statement to Global News, Canada Post said the vast majority of its employees are in compliance with the “Mandatory Vaccine Practice.”

“We are not anticipating any major service disruptions. There may be a few isolated cases where a post office may see reduced hours or temporarily close due to staffing issues,” the statement read.

A note to customers at the Lamont location did not provide an estimated time for a reopening and instructed people to go to Chipman instead, 13 kilometres down the highway.

A notice posted on the window of the post office in Lamont, Alta. saying they will be closed until they can rectify a staffing matter. Global News

The town’s mayor Kirk Perrin said he was disappointed by the parcel service interruption because of how integral it is to residents and businesses.

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“I have baby supplies sitting at the post office that arrived last night and I can’t get (them) for I don’t know how long now,” Perrin said.

Canada Post would not comment on how many or which communities are impacted by its employee vaccine mandate.

The president of the CPAA, Xan Moffatt-Toews, told Global News that temporary employees have been hired to work at some locations.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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