February 20th, 2024

MPP Burch demands answers for Welland ServiceOntario owners abandoned by Conservatives

QUEEN’S PARK – In the first Question Period back in legislature, MPP Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) demanded an explanation from Ford’s Conservatives on why they ripped ServiceOntario contracts away from small business owners across Ontario, including Welland:

“Klaudia Savona, a small business owner in Welland, received an email from this government ministry, terminating her ServiceOntario business,” said Burch. “She had invested $40,000 of her own money and operated her business for 23 years. Now this government will pay Staples to renovate their big box store.”

In February 2023, Mrs. Savona told CityNews “I’ve been a PC member my entire life. I’ve stuck by them my whole life. I’m finally done.”

“This government needs to stop pandering to big box corporations and apologize to the small business owners who feel like they’ve been slapped in the face”, said Burch. “Were the Conservatives aware of how their decision would impact small business owners like Mrs. Savona, or was this yet another example of Conservative incompetence?”

In January 2023, reporting from CityNews uncovered a Conservative plan to give the contracts for several ServiceOntario locations to Staples locations. Welland’s single ServiceOntario was one of the locations on the chopping block.

In the weeks since, Ford’s Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery has not been able to produce a business plan and does not seem aware of the cost or basic details of the sole-sourced contract.