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Mail service disruption possible

Posted on July 6, 2016 by Taber Times

Contingency plans are in place to ensure that Albertans can get access to government services in the event of a Canada Post work stoppage.

On Tuesday, Canada Post issued a 72-hour lockout notice following a breakdown in negotiations between the postal carrier and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, with a potential work stoppage scheduled for as early as Friday. However, both sides in the labour dispute have indicated they are still hopeful a deal can be reached by July 8.

A complete list of affected programs and the contingency plans will be posted on alberta.ca. The webpage will be updated regularly.

Here are some examples of how people might be affected:

Income support and AISH cheques

• Plans are in place to make sure that Human Services clients receive their cheques. Clients can call their worker for specific information or visit the Human Services website for general information.

• Clients who get cheques through the mail are encouraged to arrange for direct deposit.

• Albertans who have questions about impacts from other Human Services programs can call their worker or contact the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 780-644-9992 in the Edmonton area or 1-877-644-9992 toll-free.

Health Care Cards

• Arrangements can be made to pick up Alberta Personal Health Cards at Alberta Health, 10025 Jasper Avenue in Edmonton. Contact Alberta Health for areas outside Edmonton.

• If a patient needs health services and does not have a personal health card or number, a physician can check validity and eligibility by contacting Alberta Health or accessing Alberta Netcare.

• If a resident only requires their personal health number, they can contact Alberta Health.

High School Transcripts

• High School students can use the unofficial transcript available through myPass.alberta.ca as a temporary substitution for the official transcript. Post-secondary institutions and other organizations can contact the Transcripts and Diplomas office to verify the information on your unofficial transcript.

Benefit programs

Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit (AFETC) and Alberta Child Benefit (ACB)

* The Government of Alberta has an agreement in place with Canada Post to ensure cheque delivery in the event of a postal disruption. The first payments under the enhanced AFETC and the new ACB programs are expected to be delivered as previously set out, in July and August, respectively.

Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)

* Some registry agents can help residents with registration for Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) coverage and with changes to their current coverage. A list of authorized registry agents can be found on Alberta Health’s website.
Seniors programs

* Seniors can fax applications, forms and other required documentation to 780-422-5954.

* Seniors will also have the ability to drop off documents/applications at GoA offices.

More detailed information will be provided to seniors via the Alberta Supports Contact Centre, 1-877-644-9992 (or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton) and the Ministry Website.

Dental Assistance for Seniors Program

* Seniors expecting reimbursement for dental services should contact the Alberta Dental Services Corporation to discuss their options. The Alberta Dental Services Corporation can be reached toll-free provincewide at 1-800-232-1997.

Child support programs

Maintenance Enforcement Program

* All clients are required to meet their child maintenance obligations during any disruption to postal services.

* Clients who normally use Canada Post to send maintenance payments or related documents have a number of alternative options, which are listed on the Maintenance Enforcement Program webpage.

* Clients can also call the Maintenance Enforcement Program office during regular business hours for information and assistance with payments and their files.

* Maintenance Enforcement Program contact:

o Phone: 780-422-5555 (toll-free within Alberta: 310-0000)
o Fax: 780-401-7575
o albertamep@gov.ab.ca

Child Support Recalculation Program

* All clients are required to meet their child maintenance obligations during any disruption to postal services.

* Clients who normally use Canada Post to send maintenance payments or related documents have a number of alternative options, which are listed on the Child Support Recalculation Program webpage.

* Clients can also call the Child Support Recalculation Program office during regular business hours for information and assistance with payments and their files.

* Child Support Recalculation Program contact:

o Phone: 780-401-1111 (toll-free within Alberta: 310-0000)
o Fax: 780-644-3674
o Email: recalculation@gov.ab.ca

Student Aid

* Post-secondary students who have applied for Student Aid can visit the Student Aid website or call the Student Aid Alberta Service Centre toll-free at 1-855-606-2096.

Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT)

* Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) clients can visit tradesecrets.alberta.ca for regular updates or contact the nearest Apprenticeship and Industry Training office if you have questions.

Labour programs

Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)

* Individuals planning to submit an application to the AINP must send it by courier or wait until mail delivery resumes. The AINP will send all correspondence related to applications by email during this time. For more information, please visit the AINP website.

Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP)

* Alberta Labour will send all STEP correspondence, including approval letters, by email. Individuals planning to submit forms should use one of the provincial delivery drop-off locations or wait until mail delivery resumes. For more information, please visit the STEP website.

Canada-Alberta Job Grant (CAJG)

* Alberta Labour will send all CAJG correspondence, including approval letters, by email. Individuals planning to submit forms should use one of the provincial delivery drop-off locations or wait until mail delivery resumes. For more information, please visit the CAJG website.

International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)

* Alberta Labour will send all IQAS correspondence by email. Individuals planning to submit an application should send it by courier, drop it off at the IQAS office or wait until mail delivery resumes. For more information, please visit the IQAS website.

Driving and transportation

Driver’s licences

*All driver’s licences and ID cards that are currently in progress will be held securely at the manufacturer’s site until a strike is over. If required, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles will extend the expiry dates for Interim Operator’s Licences for the duration of the strike.

Plates

* Applications for Personalized and Support Our Troops license plates can still be processed by registry agents but will be mailed after the strike is over.
Traffic tickets

Photo radar and other traffic ticket fines can be paid online through the e-registry online fine payments portal or in person at a registry agent office or courthouse. If a payment was mailed via Canada Post after June 23 and if there is postal service disruption, to avoid a late payment penalty it is recommended that the fine be paid using one of these options before the appearance date on the ticket (in these cases the mail-in payment will be not be processed or if it is, a refund will be issued):

* Fines for most non-motor vehicle offences, which are issued on a Summons violation ticket, must be paid at a courthouse.

* Not guilty pleas for all ticket offences must be entered in person at a courthouse on or before the appearance date on the ticket.

* Photo radar and other tickets that would normally be mailed to a vehicle owner will be held until postal service resumes. The time period to pay a traffic ticket fine begins on the date the ticket is received—which means the length of the potential postal service disruption will not count towards the payment deadline.

Courts

* In the event of a postal service disruption, all outgoing mail from the Provincial Court of Alberta and Court of Queen’s Bench, including notifications of upcoming court dates, jury summonses and court-issued garnishee payments, will be held until regular Canada Post service resumes. In-person pick-up of time-sensitive court documents and court-issued payments can be arranged by contacting your local courthouse.

Infrastructure vendors

* If Canada Post service is interrupted, vendors should be in touch with their contact at Infrastructure who will make arrangements for them to receive their cheques. We are also encouraging vendors to sign up for direct deposit rather than receiving payments by cheque.

Tax and Revenue Administration

* It is important to note that even when a mail disruption occurs, it continues to be your responsibility to ensure all filing and payment requirements are met within the specified timeframes. This applies to levy payers, corporate and commodity taxpayers, and claimants and unclaimed property holders. Tax and Revenue Administration (TRA) has put measures in place to minimize inconvenience for stakeholders sending/receiving correspondence to/from TRA. Please see TRA’s special notice for further details.

For more details on these and all other government matters, Albertans are advised to check the provincial government website or stay in touch with government staff via phone, email or fax.

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