One Door, Two Levels of Government Service
Canada’s social programs are a source of pride for many Canadians. The knowledge that we can receive contributions towards a child’s education costs, financial support and training if we lose a job, or a basic pension in our later years provides a measure of security that is invaluable.
My department, Employment and Social Development Canada, is constantly working to make it easier for Canadians to access these – and other – programs and services.
Here’s an example of how we’re doing that. Right now, if you have a request related to your driver’s license or health card, you need to head to your provincial service centre. However, if you have a request related to your passport, or programs like Employment Insurance, those can only be addressed at a Service Canada Centre.
To make things easier, we’re working closely with our provincial partners to co-locate offices. In September, Service Canada teamed up with ServiceOntario to create one such office for residents in Picton, Ontario, giving them a one-stop shop for many of their government needs — the sixth of its kind in the province!
This cooperative approach to service delivery was possible because staff across all levels of the federal and provincial governments worked together to make this project a reality. Taking a “collaboration by design” approach, they made sure to keep the client’s experience in mind at every step of the way, in everything from floorplans all the way to service delivery processes.
Clients weren’t the only people who benefit from this initiative, either. Deborah Thatcher, a Citizen Service Officer in Eastern Ontario, said, “I have learned tons about ServiceOntario. When I’m serving a client, I tell them what we do and what services we offer, and then I make the connections with ServiceOntario.”
The partnership in Picton has been so successful that it is now being used as a model for best practices as we look to build more co-located sites. This collaboration means faster and easier services for Canadians, and removes any worry, confusion and hassle over having to go to different locations for provincial and federal services.
You can find more information about ESDC’s programs and services on the department’s website.
You can read more about how we’re working to make things easier at the Improving Services for Canadians website.