By Laura Keil
Canada Post isn’t promising any new security features despite a second break-in to Valemount PO boxes in an eight month time period, but it is further reducing hours for the public to access their mail.

Canada Post says it’s working to repair the affected compartments as soon as possible and the RCMP is investigating the incident. Some Valemount residents were disappointed to learn their packages had been stolen just days before Christmas, sometime between the evening of December 20 and the morning of December 21. Blue River was also hit by thieves during the same time period.

Thea Thorn initially thought her parcel had been stolen and contacted Canada Post. They informed her that because she didn’t request extra insurance when I shipped it I would only be reimbursed $100 plus the cost of shipping if her parcel could not be located. Luckily it turned out that her parcel was merely hung up in transit and eventually arrived.

“I think an alarm system would be a good idea; having the building secured may deter thieves,” she said. “Security cameras may also help, a lot of thieves seem to be aware of them and cover their faces or park their vehicles out of view but they may still help.”

Despite calls by many residents for Canada Post to install security cameras after the last break-in in April 2022, none were installed. The McBride post office, meanwhile, does have security cameras.

When asked what Canada Post will do to discourage this from happening again, the company would not lay out any specifics.

“We don’t divulge specific security measures or broader information related to our facilities or equipment publicly as doing so would hamper their effectiveness.”

Charlene Walker says post offices in other parts of Canada have dealt with the same issue by granting after-hours access only with a code to get into the building.

“I know of two communities in particular that have adapted this and it has solved this issue completely.”

She says her former home in Portage la Prairie, MB and her parents post office in Neepawa, MB both use this system.

“They have had this in place in Portage for, I would estimate, two years, and the break-ins stopped. It’s a very rough community.”

She says in Portage, PO box users must enter a 4 digit pin to enter after-hours, then it locks behind you. You press a button to unlock it to get out.
In Valemount, the post box lobby is now accessible Monday to Friday 8:15am to 5:15pm, and Saturday from 8:15am to 12:45pm, when staff are on site. Previously the postal box lobby hours were Monday to Sunday from 7 am to 9 pm.

The new hours mean many people working 12-hour/day pipeline jobs will be hard pressed to collect their mail.

Valemount Councillor Pete Pearson says he’s requested that Mayor and Council contact Canada Post to discuss a solution.

“No reason for the lack of cameras and an after-hours alarm system,” he says.

Canada Post suggests the public follow general preventative tips including collecting mail daily, using the Hold Mail Service when away, and using Canada Post’s tracking app.

“We encourage anyone who witnesses any suspicious activity to immediately inform the authorities and call Canada Post Customer Service. If customers have questions regarding their postal services, they can contact Canada Post at or 1-866-607-6301.”