Pi News –
The Ontario government is expected to announce a review of ServiceOntario locations Monday morning.
Community and Business Services Delivery Minister Todd McCarthy will speak to reporters in Oakville at 8:30 a.m. The press conference will be streamed live on CTVNewsToronto.ca and the CTV News app.
The Canadian Press confirmed Sunday that the government plans to move nine ServiceOntario stores to Staples Canada stores. They said the move will be part of a broader review of private, independent ServiceOntario locations.
Last week, Premier Doug Ford said the pilot program with Staples Canada is about convenience. Government-run stores will not be touched in the process, Ford said.
“Not everyone can enter one of the outlets between 9am and 5pm,” he said.
“It’s very simple. It’s about customer service.”
Placing ServiceOntario kiosks in Staples retail stores will save taxpayers nearly a million dollars, the government says. However, few details have been released about where the savings will come from, how much it will cost to refurbish Staples Canada locations and which ServiceOntario locations will close. There is also little information on why the government chose the deal as the sole source.
The changes drew criticism from opposition parties, with Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner calling for an audit report on the decision.
Specifically, it asks the auditor general for a value-for-money assessment of “the use of taxpayer dollars to renovate the Staples and Walmart locations and the government’s approval to pay 18 months’ rent for the ServiceOntario location in downtown Toronto.”
The Auditor General has not yet decided whether to investigate the matter.
With Canadian Press files