ServiceOntario Staples: Store locations to open
Six ServiceOntario centers will open Staples Canada stores across the province this weekend.
Beginning February 1, Ontario residents can access personal government services at Staples Canada retail stores in Oakville, Strathrow, Newmarket, Scarborough, Tillsonburg and Welland.
The new centers are part of a three-year pilot program launched by the Doug Ford government with the goal of improving customer service and increasing convenience.
An additional three centers will open later this year in Keswick, Hamilton, and Toronto.
The announcement was officially made by Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery Todd McCarthy on Monday morning after weeks of speculation.
The government says the expiring contracts give them an opportunity to “re-evaluate” ServiceOntario’s service delivery.
More than a dozen retailers participated in the process, the government said, and factors such as customer service excellence, community presence, cost effectiveness and scalability were taken into account.
Last week, Premier Doug Ford said the pilot program with Staples Canada was about convenience. Government-run stores, Ford insisted, would not be affected by the process.
“Not everyone can make it to one of the outlets from 9 am to 5 pm,” he said.
“It’s very simple. It comes down to customer service. “
According to the sample hours of the new centers provided by the government, the new locations will open at 9 am and close between 7 pm and 9 pm on weekdays.
On Saturdays they are open between 9 am and 5 pm
The nine new ServiceOntario locations will have extended hours of operation. (Government of Ontario)
The move is part of a larger review of ServiceOntario centers in the province. The government said the review will only affect privately run centres, which make up about 71 per cent of ServiceOntario locations.
Publicly run centers are not affected.
Who will pay for it?
The government says putting ServiceOntario kiosks inside Staples retail stores will save taxpayers about $900,000 over three years.
Under their business model, ServiceOntario will provide a one-time payment for all of Staples’ capital costs associated with initial construction and setup, as well as covering labor costs and operating expenses. .
Staples Canada is responsible for the co-design and construction of the centers, as well as the rental costs.
This is shocking news. More to come.