Canada Post service re-routed for Malahat residents after decades of convenience


People living near the Malahat will now spend a few more hours in the car each week to pick up their mail.

The gas station and convenience store at 231 Trans-Canada Hwy. has been a Canada Post outlet for decades.

“I moved here in 1988, and it was here way before that. It’s probably been here 60 years,” says Malahat resident Mark Spencer.

He and many others showed up Monday morning to pick up their mail, only to find a notice posted to the store’s door saying the Canada Post outlet was temporarily closed and service had been rerouted to Shawnigan Lake.

“It’s another 25 minutes every day,” says Doreen Ross, who commuted to the Canada Post location at Shawnigan Lake Road.

Gerry Lacquement commutes to CFB Esquimalt for work every day and says the extra 30 minutes to Shawnigan Lake means he won’t be able to pick up mail during the week due to hours of operation.

“I contacted Canada Post,” says Lacquement. “They assured me it wasn’t Canada Post’s call. Centex Fuel has leased that fuel facility, and they have decided not to renew or carry on that contract with Canada Post, and it was their call to shut it arbitrarily.”

Centex purchased the business, but a representative of the company tells CHEK News that the agreement with Canada Post is with the former owner.

Current management says the Canada Post service counter was manned eight hours a day from Monday to Friday and that the stipend provided by Canada Post equates to $8.20 per hour.

They say the former owner subsidized the service for several years to keep it operational, to the tune of about $30,000 per year.

Centex is encouraging community members to reach out to Canada Post to make the service viable. Centex also confirms that they intend on resuming postal service at the location and are actively seeking to hire an employee to run the service desk.

On Tuesday, Canada Post confirmed the closure is temporary, and is expected to reopen on March 25.

“In the meantime, mail and parcels for pick up will be available at the Shawnigan Lake Post Office,” the email from Canada Post says.

“Customers renting a post office box at the Malahat Gas Station will receive their mail at the Shawnigan Post Office. Customers must provide a valid government-issued photo identification when picking up their mail and parcels.”

In the meantime, there’s no timetable return to convenience for Malahat residents. For some, it’s the lack of notice that’s the hardest to swallow.

“Canada Post didn’t even send us out a notice saying they’d be closing this outlet,” says Spencer. “To close it and walk away, I guess that’s the poor level of service you’re getting from the corporation.”

The temporary location for Malahat residents is 2741 Shawnigan Lake Rd. and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

In addition to the Malahat post office, the post office inside Fairway Market on Goldstream Avenue closed on Feb. 9, Canada Post says.

Jordan CunninghamJordan Cunningham

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