OTTAWA – Canada Post is facing a potential labour disruption as of Monday. Here’s what you need to know if there’s a halt in postal services:
— All packages and parcels are already in the system will be stuck there and no new packages or letters will be accepted.
— Postal workers will still deliver government pension and benefits, but not all. Federally, Canada Post and the union have agreed to keep delivering cheques for old age security, Canada Pension Plan, the working income tax benefit, the Canada Child Benefit and student loans. In Saskatchewan, child support and victim assistance payments are also set to keep moving. In Alberta, child and spousal support payments and benefits to vulnerable persons are on the delivery list. Ditto for Quebec pension plan cheques. This list is subject to change.
— If you haven’t or can’t sign up for direct deposit for employment insurance, you can call 1-800-206-7218 to ask for a cheque that can be picked up at the nearest Service Canada location.
— Passport applications will need to be done in person if you plan to travel in less than six weeks from when you drop off your application. The federal government is recommending anyone who doesn’t need to urgently travel should hold off on passport applications for the time being.
— Any mail you send the Canada Revenue Agency like tax payments, or that they are supposed to send you like refunds, rebates, benefits aside from the ones deemed essential (see above), won’t be delivered. The CRA recommends using their online services instead. All mail will be held at the CRA until postal services resume.
— You still have to pay your hydro, water or other bill on time even if it doesn’t arrive in the mail.
— Online shopping won’t shut down, but delivery details have changed. A note on Amazon’s website said that until further notice, it won’t ship to P.O. boxes, Canada Post retail locations (which Amazon calls pickup points) or remote locations. Well.ca has moved all deliveries to UPS, which means a halt on shipping to P.O. boxes and express shipping.
— Canada Post and the union don’t have any special provisions to continue shipping medical marijuana through the mail. Licensed producers have said they will use private couriers to keep shipments rolling.
— Correctional Service Canada and the Parole Board of Canada will contact registered victims by phone or email for the duration of any labour dispute, and may send documents by courier. Victims who need to submit statements should call or email their victim services officer.
— Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada will use private couriers to deliver “priority mail” like temporary certificate of registration documents, passports or birth certificates, and anything else the department deems “time-sensitive” or critical to operations. Those wishing to submit comments for consultations on the Nutrition North program are encouraged to do so via Twitter or email.
— Parks Canada passes, permits and merchandise can be purchased online and available for pickup on-site. Private couriers will handle any deliveries.