Mere hours after it was introduced, Canada Post has withdrawn a surcharge it applied to parcels being shipped to Fort McMurray.
The surcharge, which was reportedly implemented quietly by the Crown corporation, drew the ire of Fort McMurray residents, who say they are being unfairly targeted for the perceived prosperity of the northern city and heart of the Alberta oilsands.
The surcharge was to be applied to all parcels being shipped from anywhere in Canada to Fort McMurray.
"As part of Canada Post’s competitive pricing structure for parcels, the corporation introduced a surcharge of $5 on incoming parcels to Fort McMurray following similar moves by others in the delivery business," stated Canada Post in a press release Monday afternoon.
"This has unfortunately caused concern and confusion in the market.
"As a result, Canada Post has withdrawn the surcharge. It was to take effect today for commercial customers and February 10, 2014 for all other parcels destined for Fort McMurray."
The corporation says it will continue to rely on its normal pricing mechanism going forward - meaning, no more surcharge.
The surcharge touched a nerve with residents in the northern city, including HuffPost Alberta blogger Theresa Wells:
For people in Fort McMurray it feels like this is about the "Fort McMurray Money Phenomenon". We have some experience with this, because when you live in a place where it is perceived that everyone makes a higher-than-national-average income many come looking to dip their hands into your pockets. But not everyone here has this higher income, and the impact of this surcharge, while some of it may hit us through online retailers and local businesses who have no option but to pass on this cost, will truly hit the family and friends who ship to us. It will be Nan in Newfoundland and Mom in Manitoba paying that extra $5 in the end, people who rely on Canada Post and who might well be unable to afford another $5 "surcharge".
Theresa Wells, from Fort McMurray.