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ServiceOntario scandal worsens as Ford government hands taxpayer money to Staples and Walmart

January 15, 2024

GUELPH — Ontario Greens leader and MPP for Guelph Mike Schreiner released the following statement in response to news that the Ford government will use an undisclosed amount of taxpayer money to retrofit Staples and Walmart locations chosen for ServiceOntario relocations.

“This ServiceOntario scandal smells like a bad deal for taxpayers – and the people of Ontario want to know who’s benefiting.

Is it everyday Ontarians, or is it the CEOs of Staples and Walmart?

Last week, we learned that Staples is already hiring someone to ‘monetize’ the traffic they’re expecting to receive from ServiceOntario users.

Today, it’s that the Ford government is planning to spend Ontarians’ tax dollars on store upgrades to the Staples and Walmart locations that will host their ServiceOntario kiosks.

Why are our tax dollars going to upgrading US-owned big box chains?

And why wasn’t this opportunity offered to independent, Ontario-owned businesses?

This is yet another display of the Premier’s backroom deals with wealthy insiders – and Ontarians have had enough of his seriously misplaced priorities.

They deserve a government that’s focused on real solutions to the housing and affordability crises – not on helping well-connected insiders profit off of basic needs.”