When the federal government announced the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers, I knew that Service Canada would be overwhelmed. How? Everyday, my constituency office helps people navigate and apply for government programs, like EI, CPP and many others, at Service Canada offices. We understand the need. Many constituents visit and call Service Canada because not everyone has a computer or reliable internet access to stay connected to a secure Government of Canada website.
Recognizing a tsunami bottleneck was coming, I along with Conservative MPs asked the federal government for additional resources to be immediately deployed to Service Canada so out-of-work Canadians would receive help. Instead, Ottawa closed down in-person Service Canada locations while promising Canadians would get prompt help over the phones. That’s not happening. People are waiting on hold only to get disconnected.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should not have allowed these offices to close. The federal government should immediately install added protection for Service Canada workers, like we have in food stores to protect workers. Many Canadians looking for help have no income, little savings and need assistance. The federal government has a duty to serve Canadians.