MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - Council has received an update on Canada’s Post’s plans for changes to rural addressing in the municipality.
The review came during the recent regularly scheduled council meeting, held in person and on Zoom.
Canada Post has been working on the transition of mailing addresses of Mountain View County customers from a legal land location to the rural address assigned by the county, said Chris Atchinson, director of legislative services.
“Although this began in 2017, it has since been put on hold with the intention of starting with the Didsbury service area and working throughout the county to the other service areas,” he said. “It was put on hold due to changes in Canada Post and has been sitting still ever since.”
County administration recently met with Canada Post officials, who noted that they would be willing to re-initiate the Mountain View County project if it was of interest to the county, he said.
He said administration has been able to ascertain a number of facts surrounding the transition, including the following:
• Residents would only have one address for both mail and utility/911 services.
• The physical address would be adopted for mail services and will be available to Canada Post agents.
• Online services will be able to use the civic address to eliminate issues that residents have trying to use current PO box addresses.
• Each address will continue to be assigned to a ‘prime mode compartment’ by Canada Post (ie: the manner they receive their mail, either by a PO box, community mailbox, roadside mailbox, etc). This remains free for the customer unless they choose a different mode of delivery for convenience.
Canada Post has indicated that possible benefits for residents of the transition could include only having to use one address for correspondence, online business should become more efficient and easier to navigate, and customers will identify as being from Mountain View County instead of the urban centre closest to their prime mode compartment.
Canada Post has provided redirection services for 12 months to other municipalities to assist with free redirection for mail during the transition.
County administration put for a recommendation that a letter be drafted to Canada Post seeking its continued transition of rural addressing in Mountain View County.
Reeve Angela Aalbers ask if residents would still be able to have a post box under the changes. Atchinson said yes.
“That was a question we posed to Canada Post and that wouldn’t be changing,” he said.
Councillor Peggy Johnson said she polled a number of her ratepayers about the matter.
“Our neighbours in Red Deer County went trough this a couple years ago and it was quite an onerous process to change your address so that you got all your utility bills and the newspaper subscriptions that you had paid for and all those things, and my ratepayers asked that we would receive this report as information only and that we wouldn’t move forward with this option at this point,” said Johnson.
Councillor Greg Harris said, “I’m not sure what we are getting for this is worth the hassle.”
Councillor Jennifer Lutz said she would prefer to receive the report as information rather than have a letter sent to Canada Post as recommended by administration.
Councillor Alan Miller said, “I have discussed it with a few of my residents and there is no desire to go to a system like this.”
Councillor Dwayne Fulton said, “I believe it is going to come. If we don’t want to push the issue and wait for it to be mandated on us that’s fine. People had to go through address changes when they (Canada Post) installed the large boxes out on the corners, and you had to go from your traditional RR 1 to RR 2 to site whatever to box whatever, so it’s the same process. I’d be prepared to move it forward, but apparently there’s not much interest.”
Council carried a motion accepting the report as information only. All council members attended the March 8 meeting.