MPP McDonell Pushes to Preserve In-Person Public Services in Small Communities

May 9, 2016

QUEEN’S PARK – During today’s Question Period MPP Jim McDonell reminded the Minister for Government and Consumer Services of his obligation to ensure public services were available to Ontarians that needed them. Many residents of small or rural communities opt for in-person service at a public or contracted Service Ontario outlet.

 

“The Liberals are closing nine Service Ontario outlets, mostly in smaller communities such as Morrisburg, Embrun and Kemptville, however larger communities such as Guelph, Mississauga and Milton are affected as well” MPP McDonell stated. “Some communities will need to drive more than 70 km to obtain some services, such as land registry records. This is an unacceptable cut to public access to government services which follows the closure in 2012 of 72 Service Ontario kiosks across the Province. Residents of the affected communities deserve the opportunity to interact personally with a Service Ontario worker or supervisor; the Minister’s decision deprives them of services they paid for through their hard earned tax dollars”.

 

The closures will happen between October 2016 and February 2017 and will affect Mississauga, Milton, Guelph, Blind River, Minden, Terrace Bay, Kemptville, Embrun and Morrisburg.

 

“As the Auditor-General warned repeatedly over the past years, the need to pay higher interest amounts on Ontario’s public debt will crowd out public services” MPP McDonell commented. “The Ministry may spin this as they please, however the substance remains the same: Ontarians who built and maintained public services are seeing those services withdrawn from them because the Government is short of cash. The Minister must make a commitment to preserve some kind of personal service in the affected communities for those Ontarians that need it. What is a Minister of Government Services for otherwise?”