It’s another weekday morning and business owner Domenic Bianchi once again walks down his driveway to his mailbox.
And once again, it’s empty.
Bianchi lives on Clifton Boulevard, close to the lake, on a street adorned with neat, upright mailboxes that open out onto the roadway.
He says the problem started late last autumn.
“I’ve been having trouble getting mail since last November. At first, I thought someone was stealing it.”
Bianchi visited the postal outlet at Shopper’s Drug Mart in Alcona to inquire and was directed to the Stroud post office. He telephoned.
“I explained the situation to a woman at the Stroud post office. She took my information and called me back five minutes later. She said, ‘I have a pile of mail here for you.’ She also told me our delivery person said there was too much snow in front of my mailbox. I was told the route driver couldn’t access the mailbox and their passenger couldn’t extend their arm far enough to reach the box.
“I thought she was kidding, I had taken pictures, showing there was hardly any snow. I asked wouldn’t I get a sticker or some type of notice saying mail delivery had stopped. I explained the grief it caused with late payments and trying to convince other people their mail had not been delivered.”
Bianchi reports the postal worker told him, “she would drive past my house that night to check but she never called back.”
Snowplows travelling up Clifton Boulevard do deposit snow in front of homeowners’ mail receptacles and they can build up over time, Bianchi admits.
“I was telling some of my customers at my business, a couple of weeks ago,” Bianchi says. “ One of them we must be on the same mail route. The same thing had happened to them.”
The Journal called Canada Post headquarters in London on Monday, Mar. 9 and explained the situation to media spokesperson Tom Dalby. A couple of hours later, Dalby called back.
“It was the impression of the (Stroud) postmaster (Bianchi) was getting his mail,” Dalby reported.
“The carrier had reported she was unable to reach the box because of the build up of ice and couldn’t safely deliver the mail. This was explained to him. We’ve had a lot of that this winter, snow build up and ice, even in cities. We’ve even had to cut off whole city blocks because of snow and ice. It’s been one of those years.”
Dalby did admit there, “Could have been a little more communication between Canada Post and the customer. He should be getting his mail. As far as we know, mail delivery has resumed.”
All this is little consolation to Bianchi who as of March 10 was still waiting for delivery to resume.
He checked his box several times Monday afternoon and first thing Tuesday morning.
Still no mail.
However, a happy Bianchi called the Innisfil Journal office at 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon to report he just got a large batch of mail delivered.
“I hope it continues,” he said. “It looks like I have a stack of bills to look at now.”