Municipality to support pharmacy’s effort to become Canada Post outlet

Clancy O’Malley (left) with pharmacist Tony Rinaldi. Photo SPIN

At a July council meeting, Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) council agreed to provide a letter of support regarding the Sun Peaks Pharmacy’s application to become a Canada Post retailer by outlining the need for accessible postal service in the community.  

“The council writing a letter will likely put a bit of pressure on Canada Post knowing the whole community wants it,” said Tony Rinalidi, manager of Sun Peaks Pharmacy, which opened its doors in October 2020. “I’m hoping with time and with that little pressure from the community that it’ll result in us being able to be some kind of outlet.”

In the meeting, council heard the pharmacy’s original application was denied based on a vague combination of location, accessibility and need. 

Currently, the nearest location is in Heffley Creek, which is over 35 kilometers away and residents must have a permanent address to be given a community mailbox in Sun Peaks.  

Mayor Al Raine stated he felt there was a clear need for a postal outlet in the community. 

Raine noted Sun Peaks is home to 1,000 to 1,200 permanent and part-time residents, plus an additional 1,000 employees in peak periods. 

The 2016 census put the population at 616 residents with a growth rate of around 13 per cent, making it the fastest growing municipality in the province. The 2020 census numbers have not yet been released. 

Councillor Ines Popig said recipients of larger packages currently have trouble accessing their parcels, specifically seasonal residents with limited transportation to Heffley Creek. 

“Canada Post only leaves parcels that fit in the larger compartments in the [community] mailboxes,” she said. “When we get a lot of temporary workers during the winter, they don’t have a postal address, they will not be given a postal box. So, if there was an arrangement made so there was a postal service up here and they can pick it up then that would be very helpful for those people.”

Rinaldi said the pharmacy has recently become a Purolator pick-up and drop-off location. 

“I’m actually hoping that will work in our favor, the fact that we’re already doing some mail services.”

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