Langdon has been at risk of losing its Canada Post Office for several months now, and despite the community's best efforts, it appears the post office will be gone by the end of the month. Treasurer of the Landgon District Chamber of Commerce Association Terri Torraville explained the problem stems from affording the office's building, as Canada Post only pays $500 towards rent and utilities, and the postmaster has to pay the rest from their pocket.
"There isn't anything really in town here for $500 a month with utilities included, so nobody is willing to take it on. How can you expect a person to run a business and pay for all the expenses out of their own pay?" she said.
The loss of the post office would be a huge blow to the community, as Langdonites would instead have to drive to Chestermere or Strathmore for things like receiving/ delivering parcels or buying stamps. While this creates an inconvenience for those who may want to simply send a letter out and need a stamp, Torraville explained the repercussions extend to the business community as well. On top of being with the Chamber of Commerce, she is also a business owner of Indus Graphics Inc, she knows firsthand how much she relies on Canada Post. Having to drive to Strathmore or Chestermere would put a big dent in her ability to smoothly operate her business.
"If I had to go to Strathmore or Chestermere three times a week, that's 156 lost work hours a year, plus the fuel. So for a small business that has small profit margins, that's a huge impact, plus that cost has to be transferred on to the customers as well."
Given how big of a problem this is, Langdon has been reaching out to people like Bow River MP Martin Shields for help addressing this issue. Torraville hopes that their post office can either get more funding so it'll stay in the community, or for something like a smaller substation to be installed in an already existing business, so post services can continue, even if on a smaller scale.
MP Shields has been in contact with Canada Post, and per his Facebook page, received a response explaining Langdon has a postmaster-provided facility, meaning postmasters are expected to provide facilities to provide services. According to Canada Post's terms of employment, Canada Post is not intended to offset the costs of rental and operation of this facility, meaning more funding appears to be off the table. Furthermore, Canada Post operates independently of parliament, so MP Shields's office can't directly cause them to take action. However, this doesn't mean he and his office has given up, as Director of Parliamentary Affairs for the Office of Martin Shields Jerry-Luka DeCosta explained they'll continue to do whatever they can to hopefully find a good solution for Langdon.
"What we can do however is advocate on the behalf of our constituents and try to get some answers and explanations from Canada Post. We've been in constant contact with representatives of Canada Post and will continue to press for updates in a way that sees this situation resolved as soon as possible - preferably with a post office remaining in Langdon," DeCosta said.
Even with Shields and his office fighting for Langdon, and the community doing what they can to try and keep their post office, Torraville said it remains an incredibly frustrating situation for a community that expects big growth.
"When we have a population over 5000 people, projected to go to 10 000, it just seems ridiculous that we wouldn't have our own post office," she said.
"It's a busy post office, it's used all the time. It seems like they've just kind of dropped us and they don't care."
Unless a resolution is found to keep the post office, the current plan is for Canada Post to install community mailboxes. Canada Post said this will be a four-week process starting February 1, and in the meantime mail and parcels will be available at the Strathmore main post office.
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