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U.S. Mail won't send to Canada

The U.S. Postal Service has stopped taking mail destined for Canada untilthat nation's postal strike is settled.

Mail that's already in the system is being returned to senders with arefund for the postage paid. The halt was ordered Nov. 19.

Customers can send to Canada an unlimited number of Express Mail letters,at $15.50 each. They'd normally be limited to four Express Mail parcelsfor each visit to a post office.

And a directive from the USPS says it will continue to service GlobalPackage Link customers and will sign on new customers.

Alternatives to the U.S. mail are available -- at a price. United ParcelService and Federal Express handle Canada-bound items at rates varying from$11 to $30, says Bob Gurney, owner of Mail Box of Medford.

E-mail and fax transmissions remain unaffected by the postal strike.

The lock on mail destined for Canada has scarcely affected Rogue Valleymail-order companies.

We are holding packages for now, said Bill Ihle, Bear CreekCorp. vice president for corporate relations. If people really needthe gifts now we have Federal Express and expedited mail, he said.But there is a very small amount going to Canada.

Musician's Friend is faring well during the strike. Most of the companieswhose musical instruments and accessories are handled by the marketer havetheir own distributors in Canada and other foreign countries, said Al Bessin,vice president of operations for the Medford company.

Few Northwest's Best catalogs are sent to Canada, says Jan Lajoie, presidentof the Medford company.

I talked to a printing coordinator in Portland this morning whosays she has a couple of thousand catalogs that she's trying to get intoCanada, Lajoie added.

Meanwhile, talks broke down Saturday between Canada Post and the unionrepresenting 45,000 striking postal workers.

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