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Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Editor: Service Canada has hit a new low when it comes to providing service to the citizens of Canada. Citizens who depend on Employment Insurance as an interim measure when their employment is interrupted.

The revised Employment Insurance workload, the workload that encompasses decisions on everything but new initial and renewal claims, fell to its lowest point ever. This after 3,400 hard-working employees who serve Canadians received letters in the last two years, under workforce adjustment, that their services are not needed.

If you are one of the 245,000 Canadian citizens in this workload, chances are you could be one of the 201,000 who are waiting over the 29-day acceptable standard with many being months and months longer.  How are Canadians expected to cover their rent, mortgage and other basic needs with no income for months?

There will also be a reduction of hours for employees across the country who work in the Canada Pension/Old Age Security Call Centers for seven weeks starting May 12. Thirty-eight of the 52 employees in the Bathurst Call Centre are reduced to part-time hours and this will happen again in the fall.  Are they part of the $10-million reduction of salaries to HRSDC Atlantic this year?

Many would say, why are citizens not complaining more? Many have told us they are fearful to complain, because of the new initiative to send Investigators out to knock on your door and harass citizens who are in despair.  They fear being targeted for speaking up.

What has Service Canada become? It has become Disservice Canada where it takes months to receive a decision, long wait times to speak to someone in person, and unreasonable processing times. Is the budget being balanced on the backs of the unemployed and seniors?

Jeannie Baldwin,

Regional Executive Vice-President,

PSAC Atlantic

Organizations: Service Canada, Employment Insurance, Canada Pension/Old Age Security Call Centers Bathurst Call Centre

Geographic location: Canada

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