An employee of Merritt’s post office is calling on the national mail service to review their anti-discrimination policies after a publication he said contains anti-LGBTQ2S+ messaging was delivered locally.

Dean Blackskull, postal clerk for Merritt’s Canada Post, said in an email that on June 21, the June edition of a news publication called ‘Druthers’ “was dropped off and paid for a neighbourhood mail to be distributed in and around Merritt.” 

The June edition of Druthers has in its front page a story headlined as “I Thought I Was Saving Trans Kids – Now I’m Blowing The Whistle”. The story continues on page 8 under the headline “Has Trans Become a Fad?”.

Blackskull said over email that “being a member of the LGBTQ2S+ community is neither something to be saved from, nor a fad, and the promotion of such views upholds the systemic discrimination against LGBTQ2S+ people.”

According to the email, Blackskull shared his concerns to Canada Post and The Herald about distributing anti-LGBTQ2S+ material to the community. 

He said in the email that he had received a call from the acting local area superintendent the following day saying “it had been determined that the mailing was acceptable for delivery.” 

Also according to the email, Blackskull was instructed that they were “required to deliver it, an order that comes with implications that non-compliance could result in suspension or termination.”

“I was read a prepared statement that was quite similar to statements that Canada Post provides to the media, with no explanation of who made the determination that Druthers did not contain hate speech, or any other details,” he told the Herald. “I was told that any concerns I had needed to be directed to the publisher. That was the last I heard from Canada Post.”

Druthers defines itself as an independent Canadian newspaper that offers “honest news, important news and information to Canadians that mainstream media ignores, misrepresents or outright lies about.” 

On their website, they also advertise a new subscription feature that allows Druthers to be delivered anonymously in people’s neighbourhoods.

Blackskull said when he noticed that this type of content was being distributed across the community, it made him feel worried. 

“It was people within the community that did this. Well, you know, being in a smaller community, people know other people and made me feel uneasy that this was what’s happening locally,” he said.

Blackskull said the situation made him feel “completely abandoned and disregarded.”

“I’m experiencing discrimination, and they (Canada Post) don’t care. They just want to get this delivered, get the money and be done with it,” he said.

According to Canada Post Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination Charter, the company is “committed to ensuring that employees, contractors, and customers are safe and free from racism or discrimination.”

Also in the charter, Canada Post commits to “taking all reported incidents of racism and discrimination seriously, immediately investigating them and taking appropriate follow-up action.” 

The company also mentions its commitment to support their employees who have witnessed or experienced any type of discrimination and to work towards breaking down systemic racism and discrimination.

The Herald reached out to Canada Post to comment on the situation, and was given an initial response by email that they are looking into it. Today (August 11), Canada Post’s media relations representative Janick Cormier said to the Herald over email that they “can only refuse to deliver mail excluded by the non-mailable matter regulations” and that “the content of this item does not meet the definition of non-mailable matter under the regulations and was accepted for delivery.”

She also added that “anyone concerned about the content of the mail they receive should either contact the publisher or dispose of it.”

Blackskull said that it concerns him that the Toronto-based news tabloid is “sneaking under the radar” in Merritt’s Canada Post office.

“It seems like they (Druthers) are sort of doing a grassroots campaign to sort of sneak it into smaller communities,” he said. “They felt they could sneak this under the radar in our office, because they’re looking at it and then sending it out.”

He said that Canada Post could have handled the situation better and should reevaluate where they stand.

“I think they (Canada Post) need to have a discussion about it, to actually sit down and look at this (Druthers newspaper) and their own anti-racism and anti-discrimination charter and actually follow it or have a discussion about anything, just any sort of thing other than reading a prepared statement.”