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Canada Post cancels Fort McMurray surcharge after public backlash

Canada Post employee Donna Yerxa sorts and scans packages in Scarborough on Dec. 13, 2013.

DEBORAH BAIC/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Bowing to an online uproar, Canada Post is cancelling a $5 surcharge for all Fort McMurray-bound parcels.

The Crown corporation announced it was dropping the surcharge on Monday afternoon, the same day the levy was scheduled to be slapped on commercial parcels. The fee was set to hit all other incoming parcels on Feb. 10.

As of Friday, Canada Post told The Globe and Mail the surcharge was necessary to offset the exorbitant labour costs in the Northern Alberta boomtown. Over the last year, the agency contracted out its parcel delivery service in the area due to an ability to retain workers in a region where six-figure oil jobs are the norm.

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Mail customers in Fort McMurray have long complained of delivery delays in the region and news of the surcharge only stoked resentment, with dozens of customers taking to Facebook and Twitter to voice their displeasure.

The agency acknowledged the surcharge "caused concern and confusion in the market," according to a statement issued Monday. "Going forward, Canada Post will rely on its normal pricing mechanisms for parcels to ensure we continue to offer good value in the highly-competitive parcel delivery market."

Kelsey Lundquist, who moved to Fort McMurray from Langley, B.C., said she was "beyond thrilled" when she heard Canada Post decided to cancel the surcharge.

"The community here is strong, and we always come together when issues arise," she said. "This is just another example of how great the city really is."

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About the Author
National reporter

Patrick previously worked in the Globe's Winnipeg bureau, covering the Prairies and Nunavut, and at Toronto City Hall. He is a National Magazine Award recipient and author of the book Mountie In Mukluks. More

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