Delivery changes improve service, says Ministry

"Over the last three years, the ministry has made progressive steps ... that make it easier for clients to connect with the ministry."

Re: Local governments set to address barriers in helping the vulnerable, (Trail Times April 6)

I would like to respond to some of the concerns raised regarding the services provided by the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation in Trail and Nelson.

Providing timely service to the approximately 180,000 people receiving assistance from the ministry is a responsibility we take seriously and we are always looking for ways to improve our service delivery.

In fact, our office in Nelson returned to full-time hours on February 29th of this year and the Trail office resumed full-time service on April 4th. Both offices are now open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. We have also hired more staff to assist our clients in both Nelson and Trail.

Over the last three years, the ministry has made progressive steps, adding flexibility and options that make it easier for clients to connect with the ministry.

This includes launching “My Self Serve”, an online portal that lets clients access their information, submit their monthly reports, and communicate with the ministry.

MySS already has nearly 20,000 registered users to date.

We have added new options to our 24-hour toll free telephone line, including a convenient call back option so that no one has to wait on hold. We have hired 35 new staff and are in the process of hiring 20 more dedicated to our phone lines to ensure clients are being served as quickly as possible. I can assure you there is no time limit for helping our clients over the phone.

Our clients also have the option of receiving their income assistance electronically. In fact, the majority – about 80% – have signed up for electronic deposits.

Feedback from ministry clients indicated a growing interest in services available over the phone and online. That in turn means frontline staff have more time to help those who need extra assistance.

It is also important to note that face to face appointments are always available at our 83 offices around B.C.

The service delivery changes we have made provide people with more consistent and responsive service, no matter where they live, and with more choices on how they access those services.

Michelle Stilwell

Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation

Just Posted

Pedestrian killed on Highway 22 Saturday evening

Police say 51-year-old man died after being hit by car

UPDATE: DriveBC says highway re-opened after accident

Highway 22 closed for seven hours on Saturday

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Most Read