By Angelica Ingram
Published May 3 2016
Changes are in store for the Gooderham post office as the municipality of Highlands East has sent a letter to Canada Post outlining its intent to end their dealership agreement with the federal organization.
The municipality released the news on April 27 assuring the public the move was not intended to close down the post office in Gooderham.
“The municipality has for years operated a dealership agreement with Canada Post” said Highlands East chief administrative officer and treasurer Shannon Hunter. “So what that means is the municipality runs the post office. In that dealership agreement if either party wishes to terminate the dealership there is a required notification that needs to be done.”
The municipality has been overseeing the post office in Gooderham since the early 1990s however the post office existed in the hamlet prior to then.
Hunter said the dealership termination was made by council with the hope of having Canada Post relocate the post office to a business in the area similar to examples such as Wilberforce West Guilford and other villages.
“A process must be followed and Canada Post will be approaching local businesses for a suitable location in the area. A municipally operated post office is not a common practice and this could provide an economic benefit to a local business” it read on the Highlands East website.
Hunter said the municipality is hoping to know more in the near future but at the moment everything is in the hands of Canada Post.
“They have to finalize a few numbers before they can contact businesses” she said.
The CAO said if there are no interested businesses that opens up “a whole new conversation.”
“This council was very adamant that they were not interested in losing a post office in Gooderham” said Hunter.
Located at 1032 Gooderham St. the post office shares a building with other municipal services and is run by postal clerk Tracy Evans.
Hunter said it’s premature to know if the change will result in any job losses.
“We will await confirmation from Canada Post that the post office is relocating for sure. If that transpires the municipality will review at that time” said Hunter.
Highlands East Councillor Cec Ryall whose ward encompasses Gooderham was adamant the change would not mean a closure for the post office.
“There will be a post office in Gooderham the question is just where is it going to be located?” he said. “Not having a post office in Gooderham is not on the table.”
The councillor said the current set-up is not conducive for the municipality and that Canada Post is a federalservice
“We are a municipal government” he said. “So it creates some challenges for us.”
Ryall said for a little community such as Gooderham a post office is an essential service.
“Once we get more information from Canada Post … then we can sit down with the people of our area and say here is what we have now to work with and here’s what we’re going to propose.”