Gillies Bay post office will be closing as of December 21.
According to a notification from Canada Post, Gillies Bay General Store on Texada Island no longer wants to continue its partnership with Canada Post.
“Rest assured, we are currently working to find an alternative solution to provide your postal services,” the notice stated. “We will be in contact as soon as we have more information regarding this situation. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused by this situation.”
In an email response to questions from the Peak regarding the closure, Canada Post media relations staff member Lisa Liu stated that unfortunately, the Gillies Bay post office will be closing due to unexpected reasons beyond Canada Post’s control. Affected customers were notified of this change on September 13 by letter, stated Liu, and local officials are also aware of the situation.
“We remain committed to the residents of Gillies Bay and are currently exploring all options to continue services in Gillies Bay,” stated Liu. “We will continue to keep residents updated on their postal services closer to the closure date of the post office.
“We apologize to our customers for this unexpected inconvenience and thank them for their understanding. If customers have questions regarding their postal services, they can contact Canada Post’s customer service team online at canadapost.ca/support or by telephone at 1.866.607.6301."
Gillies Bay Improvement District chair Chuck Childress said Gillies Bay is entitled to and needs a post office.
“So much stuff now, especially on islands, is ordered online and delivered,” said Childress. “We do need that service. I’m hoping that Canada Post can find a way to have an outlet in Gillies Bay.
“The service is really valued by Gillies Bay residents. It has been in a retail outlet, and unfortunately, in Gillies Bay, the Gillies Bay General Store is the only retail outlet with any kind of regular hours. It would be very nice if some way could be found to keep it in the Gillies Bay store. That would be a good solution. I don’t know what the issues are but that would be the best if that could happen.”
Childress said the store has been an integral part of the community and having the post office located in the store has been well received.
“They have done a great job,” said Childress. “It will be unfortunate if it can no longer continue there.”
qathet Regional District Electoral Area D (Texada) director Sandy McCormick said there are a lot of questions regarding the closure. She said there was some discussion about addresses having to change, and whether they will be Gillies Bay or Van Anda. She said Gillies Bay residents do not know where mailboxes will be located.
“There’s just a cloud of uncertainty right now,” added McCormick.
She said it is unsettling, especially for seniors who are well established where they are. About 10 years ago, civic addresses, not mailing addresses, changed, but in a lot of ways, mailing address changes are worse because residents would have to notify all the people they receive mail from, she added.
“That can be a lot of work for a lot of people,” said McCormick. “That’s why the uncertainty is stressful.”
The Peak contacted Gillies Bay General Store by telephone and was advised that the manager was away, and that contact should be made by email. An email was sent to the store but there has been no response.
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