Opposition Liberal MLAs are expressing concerns that Service New Brunswick outlets in several areas of the province remain closed and others are not providing a full range of services.
Andrew Harvey MLA for Carleton-Victoria cannot understand why the SNB offices in his constituency remain closed. “The closure of these offices creates hardships for many people who now have to travel a much longer distance to get services,” said Harvey.
“There is no reason why a plan to keep the public safe with social distancing and other public health measures can’t be put in place. If grocery stores and other businesses providing services can do it, then surely Service New Brunswick can as well.
Harvey is hearing from civic leaders and many people in the communities who he claims are becoming increasingly frustrated with a lack of access to services.
Fredericton North MLA Stephen Horsman is also hearing concerns from his constituents. Horsman has received complaints from people who have passed a motorcycle course but cannot get a road test.
“People have been calling wondering why, after paying hundreds of dollars to take a motorcycle course, they can’t take their written test to get their license from SNB. If all provincial government employees are still working and getting paid, this makes no sense. Let’s not use COVID19 as an excuse for SNB to do less for New Brunswickers.”
Gilles Lepage, the MLA for Restigouche West says the continued closure of the SNB offices in places like Kedgwick makes no sense. The minister’s comments about just doing things online show how out of touch she is with all regions of the province.
“I don’t know if the Minister knows much about rural New Brunswick, but access to the internet is not the same as it is in some regions of the province. It’s not great to say the least. Not all services are online, and not everyone has a computer or are comfortable using it to access SNB. Many people want to go to a Service New Brunswick Office and deal with someone face-to-face. The Minister has suggested they make an appointment with the offices in Campbellton or Edmundston, but that is roughly a 90-minute drive from Kedgwick.”