Canada Post has moved up parcel delivery deadlines within Canada in response to unprecedented holiday demand during COVID-19 but is still telling Canadians to expect delays. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Canada Post has moved up parcel delivery deadlines within Canada in response to unprecedented holiday demand during COVID-19 but is still telling Canadians to expect delays. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Salmon Arm, Revelstoke postal workers ask for patience, kindness during busy season

Canada Post union rep says processing plants backed up by 200 trucks on average

If you’ve been tracking your parcel through Canada Post, wondering when it will arrive, you’re not alone.

Significantly increased parcel volumes and pandemic-related health and safety restrictions have made for a challenging Christmas season for Canada Post.

On Dec. 14, the Crown corporation announced holiday parcel shipping deadlines had been adjusted in response to unprecedented demand. In a related public release, Canada Post explained, “not only are Canadians shopping online in record numbers, they’ve also seen a “huge influx of customers at post offices shipping gifts to replace their traditional holiday visits.”

“This weekend, we delivered 1.1 million parcels across the country and expect heavy deliveries to continue through this week and next,” reads the release. “Even with processing and delivery moving well with additional resources, there is a limit to what we can safely process and deliver. Customers should expect delays.”

Canada Post explained employees at its plants have been working around the clock, processing record volumes.

That increased volume is being seen – and felt – at Canada Post’s offices in Salmon Arm and Revelstoke, where workers have also been putting in long shifts to meet the demand.

“We’re used to heavy loads at Christmas and we’re used to working overtime at Christmas. This year, it’s an extreme amount of overtime for everyone it seems,” said Janice Jarvis, president for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers Local 823, Salmon Arm/Revelstoke.

In Revelstoke, where Jarvis said they don’t have as many rural suburban mail carriers – those who deliver parcels and mail to neighbourhood post boxes – parcels have been piling up.

“We’re begging people to come and pick up their stuff because we don’t know where we’re going to store it,” said Jarvis.

Regarding the processing plants, Jarvis said they’ve been backed up by about 200 trucks on average. And should even a single case of COVID-19 be confirmed at one, the ramifications can be far reaching.

“In Vancouver, I know they’re backed up, they were saying 200 to 250 trucks is an average – they’re processing as fast as they can while keeping to the health and safety of employees,” said Janice, adding she wasn’t aware of any plants going down in the West due to COVID-19. But she said plants in Montreal and Mississauga have had cases.

Read more: Sending holiday cheer this year? Canada Post bumps up deadlines amid unprecedented season

Read more: S’no mail: Canada Post continues ‘red alert’ in Vernon

“Mississauga is basically the hub of Canada Post for pretty much anything… and they’ve had several cases. It may only be in one section, but once you shut something down and deep clean it, it takes people off the line, people are off work.”

Parcel delays and public health restrictions and requirements around COVID-19, such as having to wear a mask when visiting the post office, have created tension among members of the public, some of whom have been taking it out on postal workers.

“The aggression towards postal clerks since this began has gone up almost 100 per cent,” said Jarvis, adding Canada Post launched a campaign calling on the public to be kind and be prepared.

During this time, Canada Post is asking for the public’s patience, a sentiment Janice echoes.

“Everyone that is working for Canada Post is doing the best they can to get things to where they need to go,” she explained. “And things do happen, especially when people are working 12 to 14 hour days on a continuous basis with no days off. It does happen and I just say have patience and be kind to us.

“A majority of us order online too and we’re waiting for packages. We don’t get any special service by Canada Post. I get it, it’s people’s Christmas presents and stuff like that. We’re trying the best that we can.”

Canada Post noted on-time delivery guarantees have been suspended since March 18, “due to the unique circumstances we are operating in this year.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Canada Post

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project is on track, despite COVID-19 and the recent provincial election. (Government of BC photo)
Kicking Horse Canyon Phase 4 closures announced

The first major closures are expected to occur starting on April 12 until May 14

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
115 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in Interior Health

There are now a total of 4,970 cases in the region

One of the renovated VWs that has served as the inspiration for Wood's idea for a VW village to redefine camping. (Jeremiah Woods photo)
Golden entrpreneau walks away with a deal from Dragon’s Den

Camping in the Woods combines a love of the outdoors and for classic VW vehicles

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Shoreacres resident flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Washington. The President is traveling to Texas. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Black Press Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

In case you missed it, here’s what made waves throughout the week

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

A COVID-19 outbreak at Vernon's Heritage Square long-term care home has claimed seven people. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Two more COVID-19 deaths at Vernon care home

Heritage Square has now lost seven people due to the outbreak

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
13 more cases of COVID-19 tied to Big White Mountain cluster

This brings the total case count to 175, of which 32 cases are active

RCMP on scene at a home on Sylvania Cres. (Phil McLachlan /Capital News/FILE)
Two Kelowna men arrested after Rutland home invasion

Two Kelowna men, including a prolific offender, facing slew of potential charges

Most Read