About Service Canada | Services Where You Live
November 10, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA) - The launch of Service Canada across British Columbia opens the way for greater access to government services, especially for minority language communities in Greater Vancouver. The Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Kingsway today announced on behalf of the Honourable Belinda Stronach, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal, that Service Canada will be reaching out to new Canadians in the Greater Vancouver area through a new program called Multi-Language Extension Services (MLES).
MLES is a mobile Service Canada program in the Greater Vancouver area that will offer Government of Canada information and services to individuals whose primary language is Punjabi, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
"Service Canada is about offering better service to more Canadians in more communities," said Minister Emerson. "The new Multi-Language Extension Services program enables the Government of Canada to provide Greater Vancouver residents, who prefer to access services in languages other than English or French, with the same one-stop and easy access to benefits and services that other Canadians enjoy right in their own community."
MLES highlights Service Canada's commitment to providing Canadians with a choice in how, when, and where they access Government of Canada benefits and services. Under MLES, teams of Service Canada representatives will make regular, scheduled visits to select locations in Surrey, Richmond, and Vancouver to provide information about benefits and services in Punjabi, Cantonese or Mandarin. At these locations, MLES staff will be equipped with computers and telephones in order to assist individuals, employers, and organizations with enquiries and provide information on programs and application procedures.
Minister Stronach underlined the importance of Service Canada and the new Multi-Language Extension Services in Greater Vancouver. "We know that the individual needs of Canadians are unique and different and Service Canada is determined to meet these needs in a helpful and personalized way. Offering service in more than two languages ensures that more Canadians can take advantage of the vast array of benefits and services offered by the Government of Canada."
Service Canada brings together services from a number of federal departments in one easy-to-access service delivery network. Today, this network integrates 320 points of service in communities across Canada; a national 1 800 O-Canada (1 800 622-6232) telephone service; and a range of on-line services at servicecanada.gc.ca.
By reaching out to communities in Western Canada, Service Canada will deliver on its promise to provide better access to more Canadians across the country. Service Canada has already begun to expand the range of services available to British Columbians, including new passport receiving agents in Comox Valley, Kamloops, and Terrace, making it easier for local residents wanting to apply for a passport.
In 2006, Service Canada's points of service will double, reaching 1.25 million more Canadians and giving access to many previously under-served remote and rural communities. One of the primary ways this will be done is through mobile outreach - scheduled or in response to a particular need - by knowledgeable Service Canada representatives travelling to meet the special needs of individuals, employers, and organizations.
Service Canada is serious about meeting its service commitment to Canadians. A Service Charter has been adopted which explains to Canadians what they can expect and how they can provide feedback. The Service Canada Office of Client Satisfaction has also been established to enable citizens to register suggestions, compliments or complaints, and ensure the right follow-up.
Over the coming months, Canadians will continue to experience concrete improvements in service delivery. For more information about Service Canada and the services it provides today in British Columbia and elsewhere across Canada, see the attached backgrounder.
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Regional Lead - MLES
British Columbia/Yukon Region
Office of the Honourable David L. Emerson
Minister of Industry
Office of Minister Belinda Stronach
1 800 O-Canada (1 800 622-6232)
TTY: 1 800 926-9105