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Postal code changes an 'inconvenience' for Whistlerites

Changes go into effect Sept. 17, but Canada Post will honour old postal codes for 12 months

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Canada Post has assigned new postal codes for the community that will go into effect next week, and Whistlerites aren't happy.

Local social media has been flooded with posts in recent weeks by locals frustrated with the changes, which were first announced by Canada Post last month.

"It inconveniences everybody," said local photographer and Cheakamus Crossing resident Sean St. Denis. "The fact that the whole community has to go do this is quite stupid."

In an email, Canada Post spokesperson Phil Legault said all of Whistler's existing postal codes have been exhausted and the new postal codes are necessary due to the "tremendous growth" that Whistler has experienced in recent years, with now more than 10,000 addresses in the community. "Given this growth and the fact that many Whistler residents are seasonal, Canada Post has had to make changes to ensure that residents continue to be well served."

The new postal codes, which will begin with V8E, go into effect on Sept. 17, but Canada Post said it would provide "customers free mail redirection service for one year so they have enough time to manage this change effectively."

Some customers using General Delivery and Prime Mode post office boxes will begin to receive their mail at community mailboxes, Legault noted, an effort to "alleviate some of the congestion at the post office and allow for better and more efficient service."

It will be left up to residents to notify their mailers of the change to their postal code, an effort that St. Denis is expecting to cause major headaches. "I have to go do all these individual little things that I have to think of myself," he said. "I have to (ask myself), what businesses do I have to change my postal code with? I have to go into the bank and change it for my mortgage because my house is in a different postal code now all of a sudden. Then my billing address becomes different and I have to make sure Visa is OK with that."

St. Denis was also concerned about having the potential cost of amending the postal code on his driver's license, but a spokesperson for ICBC confirmed there is no fee. Customers can update their postal code at a driver licensing office or online at icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/Pages/Change-your-address-or-name.aspx.

The customer service line for Canada Post can be reached at 1-800-267-1177.

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