Editorial: Shopping season

Is it too early to plan holiday gift shopping? Most will say “yes,” but when the successful delivery of gifts to recipients living in places other than Powell River is in question, some, or most, might just change their minds.

Yes, mid-November may be a tad early to stress about what to buy and how to make sure the purchased item arrives at its destination. On the other hand, based on the current stalemate between Canada Post and Canadian Union of Postal Workers, sooner rather than later might be the best approach for anyone trying to get a card or package to a certain destination by a certain date.

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While the two sides continue to negotiate, anyone other than diehard planners who probably had their shopping complete in August and packages long since shipped now has to consider if rotating strikes will affect delivery of gifts overseas or elsewhere in North America.

In a worst-case scenario, will a full-on strike make it impossible to send anything through Canada Post prior to the holiday season?

Some may gamble on prime minister Justin Trudeau’s comments that the Canadian government will look at all options to end the dispute before the holidays if the union and employer do not find a resolution on their own. However, without a specific date announced, that gamble might not pay off.

More than four million packages are processed every day at Canada Post’s processing facility in Richmond, an astonishing number that will build each day with packages waiting somewhere, whether in that building, at post offices throughout the province, or on the sender’s kitchen table.

Discussions between Canada Post and the union have been ongoing for more than a year, and some workers have been without a contract since last December. Everyone involved could use a gift. Who is in the more giving mood?

After a negotiation period that has carried on this long, it does not appear that anyone in a big red suit is going to ride in on a sleigh to save the day, unless Trudeau has that outfit tucked away somewhere in his closet.

If a full-on strike happens or rotating walkouts continue into and through December, the only people with nothing to panic about are those who only buy for relatives and friends in the area, and, of course, the last-minute shoppers.

Anyone who practices the art of buying during the last few days before celebrations commence is unlikely to require shipping service. For them, all is good. For the rest of us, the panic button is at arm’s length.

Copyright © Powell River Peak


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