QUEEN’S PARK – Catherine Fife, Official Opposition NDP critic for Finance and Treasury Board has released the following statement in response to news about the closure of ServiceOntario locations and opening kiosks inside Staples stores:
“This raises serious concerns about Ontarians’ access to government services. This will simply hurt those already left waiting at ServiceOntario to access services such as renewing their health cards, and more.
"Closing down ServiceOntario locations without details of how many or how service demands will be managed, especially in Northern and rural parts of the province, is worrisome.
"This is not an expansion of service, but another attempt for Ford to quietly hand over more of our public services to private corporations. The public servants working at Service Ontario locations cannot be left with uncertainty about the future of their jobs, especially amidst an affordability crisis. People need answers.”
- The previous Liberal government outsourced ServiceOntario service delivery to computerized kiosks that had to be disabled after just five months due to vulnerabilities to personal information theft.
- Successive Liberal and Conservative governments have forced the closure of dozens of ServiceOntario locations over the last decade.