ServiceOntario: The Straight Facts
ServiceOntario annually generates $2.7 billion in revenue for the province on an operating budget of only $270 million. That is a 10 to 1 return on investment. These revenues fund essential public services we all rely on.
The McGuinty government likes to claim that two-thirds of ServiceOntario is already privatized. While two-thirds of ServiceOntario’s retail counters are privately run, claiming that two-thirds of ServiceOntario is already privatized is a gross oversimplification. This claim ignores the publicly run backbone of the organization. The components of ServiceOntario directly operated by the province include:
- 87 public counters across Ontario
- 9 contact centers that answer 10 million calls annually
- Online services handling close to 10 million transactions annually
- Mailrooms processing 22 million items annually
ServiceOntario employs about 2400 people that are direct employees of the province. OPSEU represents approximately 1850 of those employees.
These provincial employees:
- Exercise stringent oversight to maintain the integrity of government-issued identification
- Pilot all new initiatives such as the enhanced driver’s licence and Ontario photo card in advance of release to private issuers
- Train private issuers
- Audit private issuers for accuracy and fraud prevention
- Are the subject matter experts on all ServiceOntario programs and transactions
- Are specialists in verifying the legitimacy of photos and documents
ServiceOntario annually handles 48 million transactions including:
- Birth certificates
- Health cards
- Driver and vehicle licensing
Ontarians have no choice but to use ServiceOntario to access these critical government services.
Premier McGuinty plans to sell off ServiceOntario to private investors.
Why would a government sell off an organization that delivers critical services to the people of Ontario and generates $2.7 billion in revenues?
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas has called on the Premier to withdraw the section of the government"s budget bill that will enable the privatization of ServiceOntario.
Please help in the fight to save ServiceOntario and email your MPP through this link.