WHALLEY — Frustrated residents of a Whalley condominium tower have been fetching their own mail for more than a month now while waiting for their vandalized lobby mailboxes to be fixed.
"I think it's nonsense," said Gordon Heck, a condo dweller who lives at Citypoint, across 108th Avenue from the Gateway SkyTrain station.
"Why can't this be repaired? I just think it's crazy. This has been going on for a month now."
Heck and his neighbours have had to pick up their mail at the post office on King George Boulevard, more than a kilometre away, since the boxes were pried open on Aug. 18.
"As it stands right now, there are about 48 residents that are not getting their mail," he said, adding it's become a "ridiculous" hassle for him because the post office closes before he gets off work.
John Caines, an Ottawa-based spokesman for Canada Post, said the building's management is responsible for the repairs.
"It's not Canada Post Property," he said.
"It's not our property, it's not our box.
"We advised the building manager it had to be repaired," he said. "Once it's repaired, we'll resume delivery."
But Heck said his strata president told him the job will take time because it requires specialized work that must meet Canada Post's specifications.
Citypoint property manager Cherylynn Warner, told the Now there is only a very small pool of repair specialists that meet Canada Post's approval and it's been difficult to find one. But there is good news, she said. "It is being fixed this week."
Meantime, Heck has brought his complaint to Bruce Ralston, NDP MLA for Surrey-Whalley, and to Jasbir Sandhu, NDP MP for Surrey North.
Ralston said Canada Post has "very exacting" specifications, and it and the developer, Gateway Property Management Corporation, "should sort it out and get on with it."
Sandhu knows first hand what the condo residents are going through. He, his staff and the apartment dwellers sharing the building his constituency office is in, off 104th Avenue, had to pick up their mail from the post office on King George after a vandal damaged their boxes.
"It took over six weeks to get it fixed," the MP recalled.
In the meantime, it's an inconvenience, Sandhu said, especially for seniors.
Sandhu said he is writing a letter to the president of Canada Post, "demanding" some answers.
"It's an essential service that should be provided in a timely manner," Sandhu said of residential mail delivery.
Many disabled and elderly people stuck these kinds of situations can't get out to pick up their mail, he noted.
"You've got to come up with a better solution to get mail to these people."
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