By Chad Ingram
Published Feb. 16 2017
The Minden Service Ontario office alongHighway 35 will continue to operate.
The province announced Thursday thatthe Minden location and eight other Service Ontario sites it hadsaid last spring would close by the end of 2016 will all remainopen.
“ Thegovernment has finalized its review and the Service Ontario centresin Mississauga Terrace Bay Milton Guelph Morrisburg EmbrunMinden Kemptville and Blind River will remain open" readscorrespondence from Christine Levin director of Service Ontario'seast region retail offices branch. “As part of this review weconsulted with impacted communities and determined that keeping thecentres open would ensure that we continue to provide the bestservice to our customers.”
The Times initially learned in May of last year that the province had plans toclose the location along Highway 35 where residents go for driver’slicence and health card renewals licence plate stickers hunting andfishing licences and a number of other services at the end ofNovember as more of its services become available online.
Ithad planned to close eight other offices as well.
Therewas public outpouring of anger in these communities with thousandsof residents signing online petitions and in June the provinceannounced it was putting the closures on hold as it conducted areview.
“This is a great news story” said Minden Hills Reeve andHaliburton County Warden Brent Devolin. “Lots of times policydecisions are made from afar without any critical analysis.”
Devolin said he thought the public blow-back played a large part inthe government's decision as well as a closer assessment of thesituation.
“They'd just done all that accessibility work for instance”he said of recent upgrades to the Minden office. “I think the factswere borne out."
There are two full-time employees – one permanent and one on acontract – currently working at the Minden Service Ontario office.Hours of operation will remain the same with the location open 9:30a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.