Interventions in Committee
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
So there were no guidelines. In other words, you are reactive. I'm not talking about you, of course. You follow political orders, and we understand that. At the moment, everything is reactive and absolutely nothing is proactive.
You said you received 1,500 requests or calls about the social insurance number. Our goal is to know how the government can help people proactively. Since you don't know which Canadians are affected, you necessarily have to wait for them to contact you. That is what is happening right now. You wait for the people affected to contact you, not the other way around. That's impossible, because you don't have the data. Mr. Cormier, from Desjardins, seemed to say that they would be ready to send this data. I know I'm asking you to give a political opinion, but you can't.
I have to express something that royally disgusts the people in my riding. I went door-to-door a lot last week and the week before that. People have consistently told me that they doubt that the government can do anything. It saddened me very much. How is that possible? I would like to break the cynicism and listen to people. People contribute 50% of their income to the Canadian government. We Conservatives want the government to work for citizens, not the other way around.
Mr. Cormier said that when someone calls Desjardins, they are proactive and take care of things for them.
We learned something very important today. In fact, we already knew that because it had been mentioned here and there. I learned from an official like you that you can change your social insurance number. I know it's complex and that even if we change it, we still have to reach a myriad of institutions, our former employers, and so on. However, it is the government that requires that citizens have a social insurance number. It is a system that should perhaps even be called into question, and we are discussing it today, in a way.
Wouldn't it be your duty to contact the 2.9 million people? The Liberal government should do this to be proactive. It knows these people. For example, at the Pizzeria D'Youville, where I worked in 2004 when I was 17, it was the boss who sent the GST to the federal government. All these things are well known. Your departments could easily link this information and change the social insurance number, perhaps not in a comprehensive way, but it should support the citizen in the very difficult task of reaching all former employers or government agencies.
I really don't like this. I know it's not your fault. You have political directives from the Liberal government, but it is not proactive at the moment. I don't like it at all. What can you say about this?
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