ARTHUR – The Service Ontario office here is now closed.
A bulletin issued by Service Ontario on May 28 stated the office at 497 Smith Street “will permanently close on May 30.”
The bulletin adds, “Service Ontario is committed to ensuring that customers receive excellent service in a timely manner.”
This is not the first time residents have faced this situation.
A decade ago, the office closed suddenly in July, with little notification to the operator, and no notification to the Arthur community. Eight months later a Service Ontario office opened at the north end of the village.
When contacted, contract owner Rob Ardy was hesitant to comment “as I do have other contracts.”
Wellington North Mayor Andy Lennox said it is “disappointing” the Arthur Service Ontario is closing.
“It will be very inconvenient for residents and businesses who need access to provincial government services,” said Lennox.
“Hopefully some arrangement can be worked out, so that Arthur and area residents can regain access to the services without traveling significant distances.”
In a May 30 email to the Advertiser Harry Malhi of the communications branch of the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services stated the operator of the Service Ontario centre in Arthur “chose to exit the business” and gave notice to the ministry in late January.
“Service Ontario will be looking into finding a new service provider to deliver services in the community,” Malhi added.
He noted the service provider who operated the Arthur office also operates the Fergus and Guelph Service Ontario centres, but not the location in Elmira.
Other offices in the region include Fergus, Mount Forest and Elmira.
Service Ontario also offers more than 40 services online – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – including health card and driver’s licence renewals.