West Nipissing’s Service Canada office has reopened in Sturgeon Falls following a quick move to a new location. The office, which is now located at 94 King Street, has moved from its location at 30 Front Street after it shut down on Tuesday November 29th and reopened on the next Tuesday, December 6th. Though many people are happy to have an office in West Nipissing, after a 2-year absence during COVID lockdowns, the one-half-day-per-week schedule may not be enough to meet the demand of people accessing the service.
According to Neil Fox, General Manager of Sudbury East-West Nipissing Economic Partners, his organization had sublet space in the WN Information Centre to Service Canada back in March 2022. “We had signed a trial MOU for one year in March of 2022,” he says, adding that on November 1st they executed the 30-day clause to terminate the agreement. Fox says they felt it was important for Service Canada to find a more permanent solution to serve the community as a standalone agency.
Economic Partners already share the building with the Chamber of Commerce and some municipal staff. The federal government office was generating a lot of traffic, which led to people waiting in the hallways, as people from across West Nipissing and Sudbury East would come to access government services in Sturgeon Falls. The office was open only on Tuesdays from 9 am to 2 pm, with a pause from 12 pm to 12:30 pm for lunch, leading to a large influx of people during those hours.