Ontario communities voice concerns about potential postal disruption

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OTTAWA — Rural communities and a member of Parliament are raising concerns about the impact a potential work stoppage at Canada Post could have on Ontario’s municipal elections.

The Crown corporation and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have extended contract negotiations beyond today’s deadline for a strike or lockout, providing some hope that new deals can be struck without a service disruption.

But in the absence of agreements, small communities that rely on mail-in ballots for the Oct. 22 municipal vote say they are looking for alternatives.

The Municipality of Dysart et al, in Ontario’s cottage country north of Toronto, says it could be heavily impacted by a postal strike.

Just to the west, Brock Township is telling voters not to mail their ballots until there is confirmation a strike or lockout won’t happen.

Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant, who represents the rural riding of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke northwest of Ottawa, says she has heard from several isolated municipalities worried about how a shutdown of Canada Post will affect their mail-in votes.

The Canadian Press