Opinion

Mall move poorly explained

Our sympathies to the employees of Northern Reflections and Please Mum in the Chahko Mika Mall who learned over the last few weeks that they will soon be out of jobs.

The former was a casualty of the new Service Canada centre which will be opening there in the fall. The company said it couldn’t afford the cost of relocating.

Although the latter would have been similarly displaced, it became a moot point Monday when the company announced it was closing 70 stores across Canada, including the one in Nelson.

The federal government wouldn’t acknowledge the irony that its centre, which provides employment services amongst other things, will actually put people out of work.

Alas, Human Resources and Development Services Canada did a poor job all round of explaining the move, at first refusing to admit it was even in the works. Employees in the mall found out when customers told them.

Later, a series of polite, friendly media relations people in Ottawa called to say no one was available to answer the Star’s questions, but when was our next deadline?

Eventually we did receive a few unsigned emails from them, which were sort of helpful, in that they at least confirmed what we’d already learned through various other sources.

The difficulty gleaning basic on-the-record information about the move was disappointing because it appears there are very good reasons for it — accessibility being one. Notwithstanding the fact it means bumping existing businesses in the mall, the new office should prove beneficial for both staff and clients of Service Canada.

Ultimately, an opportunity to tell a good news story was lost in the bureaucracy.

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