Striking Canada Post workers keep their hands warm as they picket at the South Central sorting facility in Toronto on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Striking Canada Post workers keep their hands warm as they picket at the South Central sorting facility in Toronto on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Mail service halted in Ottawa as Commons looks to take up back-to-work bill

The capital, as well as smaller towns in Ontario and British Columbia, are all being targeted by rotating strikes by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Striking Canada Post workers are shutting down the mail in Ottawa today as the House of Commons takes up legislation that would force them back to work.

The capital, as well as smaller towns in Ontario and British Columbia, and Sherbrooke, Que., are all being targeted by rotating strikes by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have held rotating walkouts for a month, causing massive backlogs of unsorted mail and packages at postal depots.

On Thursday, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu tabled a bill to end mail disruptions across the country but debate on it was held back to give a special mediator time to settle the dispute.

Hajdu said the Liberal government brought forward the legislation after exhausting every option, adding it has a responsibility to all Canadians and businesses that drive the economy.

Canada Post says it could take weeks — even stretching into 2019 — to clear the backlog that has built up, especially at major sorting centres in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Read more: B.C. postal worker accuses Canada Post of questionable tactics during strike

Read more: Canada Post strikes continue in Kelowna

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