May 7th, 2019

Auditor General Releases Damning Reports on Liberal Government

OTTAWA – Of the 16 million Canadians who try to reach a government representative through call centres, more than half cannot get through, warned Canada’s Auditor General today. Millions of calls are sent back to an automated system or told to go to the website or to call back later. Canadians deserve a government that provides the necessary services when they’re needed.

“The government didn’t even bother to set service standards on access, timeliness and accuracy for the department of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship. Is it a wonder that 70% of the callers didn’t even manage to get through?” asked NDP Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Critic Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East). “Canadians deserve to get an answer from their government when it comes to issues as important as their pensions, employment insurance or on an immigration matter. It is clear that access to such basic services for Canadians is not a priority for this Liberal government. It’s astounding that only 8 out of 221 call centres were modernized. There is no plan or resources to address the other 213 centres. The Liberals have all but abandoned this basic but critical everyday service for Canadians.”

The conclusions in the report on asylum seekers confirm what the NDP has been saying for more than two years: there is a chronic underfunding of the Immigration Refugee Board. Both the Conservatives and the Liberals failed asylum seekers whose lives are stuck in limbo waiting for their claim to be heard. The government is still dealing with over 500 legacy claims from pre-2012. It’s clear there is a lack of political will to ensure a rapid response and rapid access to resources to process claims in a timely manner.

“According to the Auditor General, the Liberal government has not overseen federal advertising with sufficient rigour to ensure no public funds were spent on partisan advertising. With the increase in digital advertising, it’s important to take the necessary steps to adapt how we track and monitor advertising,” said NDP Finance Critic Pierre-Luc Dusseault (Sherbrooke). “This laissez-faire approach, which is the trademark of the Liberal government, is fueling the appearance of a lack of transparency and cynicism in politics.”

Canadian taxpayers expect that the Liberal government will not use public money to promote its platform in an election year. But there is little in place to reassure taxpayers on this issue.