Government keeps doors open at Minden’s ServiceOntario
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | February 16, 2017
After a lengthy review, the provincial government has decided to keep Minden’s ServiceOntario centre open.
It was one of nine centres originally slated to close, but now each location will continue to serve the public.
“ServiceOntario is committed to continually refining our services and service delivery options in order to better match customer needs,” states a release from Harry Malhi of the Communications Branch.
Last May, it was announced that the Minden centre, located off Highway 35, would permanently close at the end of November 2016. The initial decision was made “after careful analysis,” spokesperson Anne-Marie Flanagan told The Highlander at the time. It was believed these centres could close due to the proximity of other nearby centres and the availability of online services.
There was public outcry and many residents signed a petition in the hopes of reversing the decision. Local politicians also expressed their disappointment.
A month later, the government put the closures on hold and decided to re-examine the decision.
“I’m happy for all,” said Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin.
He said a number of groups “made noise,” including the public, politicians, car dealers, ATV and snowmobile users.
The nearly 300 ServiceOntario offices in the province provide services such as driver’s license and health card renewals, fishing and hunting licenses, and property address changes.
There is another centre in Haliburton but it is an independently operated, whereas the other locations are run by the ministry.
See Thursday’s Highlander for an updated version of this story.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.