What do you do when Canada Post says your home doesn't exist?
Stephen Holtzman has something of an existential dilemma.
Does his house exist or not?
Holtzman and his family live in the tiny, rural village of Bainsville, Ontario, about an hour and a half southeast of Ottawa.
Holtzman’s problem is that his house address doesn’t exist in Canada Post’s database, even though the house has been there for 19 years. A few other house numbers along this picturesque rural road don’t exist either.
In the four years the Holtzmans have lived there, it has caused all sorts of problems. Not with Canada Post, but with almost every other company and government agency that requires a valid address.
"For instance I had to do my license renewal. I went online, and we don't exist. I have to go to Cornwall to do that,” says Holtzman. Ditto trying to pay his taxes online.
And getting anything delivered by a courier company is especially complicated. “Any parcels with UPS, Federal Express, it doesnt' matter. I have to go get them delivered. Actually when they miss us, for Federal Express, I have to go to Ottawa to pick up all my parcels,” he says. “Because we don’t exist.”
The irony is he has no problem getting his mail from Canada Post. It’s delivered to a post office box at the local corner store.
Holtzman says he’s contacted Canada Post. Someone on the phone told him the municipality needs to fix it.
But the Township of South Glengarry says he does exist. His address is registered in its 911 database. "As long as you exist in 911 you should exist in everything else,” says Planning and Information Officer Anne Lalonde. “It should kind of feed down. I'm not really sure why he's falling through the cracks."
Holtzman figures the problem could be solved if Canada Post simply changed 2 numbers in its database. But he says he can’t even get a phone number for the Township to call the Crown Corporation. “It’s government working at the best right now,” he laughs.
At least he’s keeping his sense of humour. Not bad for a man who’s very home doesn’t exist.