OUR VIEW: Not everyone in Grand Forks uses email

While the world is seeming using to technology to communicate, not everyone uses email, text messaging and online payment services.

According to Canada Post, all local mail will be shipped to Vancouver to be sorted starting in November.

Local mail had already been shipped to the coast on weekends for sorting and according to spokespeople for the Crown corporation, it won’t affect mail delivery times, that is, if you take into consideration what Canada Post advertises – two days for local mail, three days within provinces and four days nationally.

In reality though, a lot of the local mail will take longer to deliver as sorting at the Grand Forks outlet allowed for next-day delivery in a lot of instances and this could become a thing of the past.

Technically, the Canada Post move could allow for mail sent on one day to be delivered the next but there are always extenuating circumstances when it comes to shipping. Trucks can break down and weather can prevent prompt delivery – especially with the colder weather that will come in the next few months.

Canada Post also says that business has changed and it is changing its focus from mail delivery to parcel delivery and with email and various new forms of technology and it is true  but while people in larger centres tweet, text and email to communicate and use various payment services to pay bills the same might not be true of Grand Forks.

According to statistics from the 2006 census, the group that makes up the largest percentage of the city’s population base is the 55-to 74-year-old demographic, which accounts for 27.1 per cent of the population distribution.

While many in this group are familiar with the Internet, email and Facebook not all are, in fact the Grand Forks Gazette still gets handwritten letters, sometimes by mail. Also, if people aren’t versed in the Internet, it might seem daunting to pay a bill online and again, mail is probably the preferred method of making a payment.

The post office and its traditional services are still valuable to those who aren’t tech savvy and if they require prompt letter delivery, it might not be able to be provided with the announced move.

Traditional mail service is also valuable to people of every demographic in rural Canada as front doorstep mail delivery is not always possible.

Canada Post says the move is a cost-saving measure due to the fact that many Canadians are looking for electronic alternatives to use postal services but you can be sure some Grand Forks residents aren’t amongst that group.

– Grand Forks Gazette