Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Blake Richards Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you. Unfortunately, I hear those types of examples all too often. Those are the types of things that we obviously need to be looking at to try to address with regulatory compliance.
Mr. Achen, regarding the CRA, you raised an issue that is also one I hear so frequently. You mentioned, and I actually hadn't heard this statistic before, that we have five times the number of agents per capita in the CRA than does the IRS. I've heard that expressed in different ways before, about the thousands and thousands of agents that we have at CRA, yet when you make a phone call, you can never get any one of them on the phone. People always wonder how the heck it is possible, with all those people there, that you can't even get someone on the phone. Then they say, if you ever do get someone on the phone, you might talk to four different agents and get six or eight different opinions, so that's obviously a source of frustration.
I wonder if you might speak to the opportunity that's lost for our businesses, particularly our small businesses, when they're dealing with these types of compliance burdens with the CRA. Obviously the complicated nature of the tax code and the fact that even the CRA agents can't really give you a proper interpretation of it, what do those effects mean for our small businesses in terms of lost opportunity to be able to be competitive and to be able to grow their businesses, mentor employees and so on?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
I have a limited amount of time. Specifically, from an opportunity cost perspective, the government is investing—spending—$51 million worth of tax dollars and assuming oversight and, ostensibly, liability related to an arm's-length profession that exists to interpret difficulties in an existing government system.
I'm wondering if there was any opportunity cost analysis done to apply that $51 million to ease service delivery specifically related to this particular expenditure?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
This committee, over the years that I've been involved with it, has looked at issues of service delivery. A couple of comments that we've made have been dealing with the issue of being provided information from the moment you sign up and enlist. As you progress, that information is continually given to you as to what you can obtain if certain things should happen. As you progress, you continually learn that. Some of the recommendations that we've made in the past were to do with such information providing that service.
Do you see that as a value or do you see that as a hindrance?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
So, there are some significant issues there for some folks, obviously, as they're transitioning.
I have a quick question, too, with regard to making things better for them so they don't come to the point where you're needing to help them.
We heard testimony earlier from the Veterans Transition Network. You're probably familiar with the services they provide.
How important do you think it would be to have those kinds of services actually be the priority as our members are looking at possibly facing the decision to no longer be part of their service at an earlier time?
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Hamilton, your service failed to deliver 84% of the time. It failed 84% of the time.
You say you are not surprised, but what did you do not to be surprised? How can it be that you are not surprised that your service did not work 84% of the time?
That is unacceptable, sir.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay, we can all improve in life, we get that.
Yet with an 84% failure rate, you do not need to improve; you need to shake things up or else we have to start over from scratch. Come on, it is not a question of improving. You need a change in course and a kick in the backside to get things working properly.
Mr. Hamilton, if you wanted to hire someone and they got 16% on their test, would you hire them?
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Hamilton, do you realize that what you just said is an insult to the 84% of people who call and do not get the service to which they are entitled and which they pay for?
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Hamilton, what I find very disappointing is the way you are talking about this as though it were a question of making a few improvements. We are talking about an 84% failure rate. What is needed here is not an improvement: you need to completely review the structure and, above all, the culture.
How have you been able to keep your job with an 84% failure rate?
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
That is your answer but it is unacceptable to Canadians.
What was done was more than a survey: it was demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that things are not working. You say that the technology has to be improved. That is not true. The role of technology is to support effectiveness; it is not the source of the problems. In the current culture, you are not worried about this. When you say that it is just a survey question and all that is needed is improvement, it is as though you are burying your head in the sand. I am sorry to have to be so harsh, Mr. Hamilton, but your answers are not acceptable.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
In your introduction earlier, you said something that was right on the mark. In fact, I am convinced that the 337 other members of the House of Commons share your opinion.
We have received a lot of calls from Canadians who were outraged by this. These people are not millionaires or people who hire an accountant to fill out their tax return. They are ordinary citizens with a modest income. In most cases, they are seniors. Eight times out of ten, or 84% of the time, these people were not able to talk to an agent or, even worse, got incorrect information.
Did these people pay too much tax or not enough? That is the question, and it is obviously the first one that comes to mind for them.
Did they pay too much tax as a result of the incorrect information they were given?
Mr. Hamilton, what recourse do these people have?
View Alexander Nuttall Profile
CPC (ON)
There is only one perspective that matters here. That is the perspective of the people we're serving. Those are the people who are calling in. Those are the callers. From the callers' perspective, it's a 36% rate. From your department's perspective, it's a 90% rate. That is a huge variance. That actually is the best example of the culture issues that are so obviously existing. I don't think there's a member around this table right now who is thinking, “Yeah, we don't really have culture issues; we need a little bit more transparency and maybe we need to train some people better and get some better technology, and CRA is off to the races”.
I don't think that is a thing. That's the message I'm hearing, and I don't think that's a thing that exists around this table. I think you need to go back. I want to know who came up with the system to say that over half the callers aren't actually callers. I want to know who came out with these results, because they just don't make sense.
View Maxime Bernier Profile
PPC (QC)
View Maxime Bernier Profile
2017-11-23 11:57
Thank you.
My question is for you, Ms. Hart, and pertains to the deployment of the new services.
You assess the applications of companies who wish to offer those services and to receive funding to do so. Yet there is not just high-speed fibre optic service. I imagine there is also satellite Internet service.
How do you decide to help a supplier provide Internet service by satellite rather than fibre optic, for a specific region?
In the regions, people sometimes prefer fibre optic access over satellite. You provide funding so companies can offer one or the other.
How do you determine the type of service that people in a given region will receive?
View Alexander Nuttall Profile
CPC (ON)
I know this wasn't necessarily the direct focus of the report, but have we seen circumstances when incorrect information was given out by the federal government and the federal government then changed the amount they're saying is owed, based on the information they gave out originally, or did we just not get there?
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Nuttall. You have 10 seconds, but I'll take it.
Did you ever ask CRA, when you were given false information, if you could have that answer in writing? I've been told by constituents—and it's probably happened to us—that when you're on the phone after finally getting through, after being blocked so many times, when you get the information, all you have is really your word against somebody else's, because it's on the phone.
Would you ever ask if you could have that answer in an email or in writing?
View Alexander Nuttall Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I wanted to continue with the CRA audit. After determining a 30% inaccuracy rate in the information provided by persons working for the CRA, your report goes into the information that's provided by CRA in their auditing of their own activities, whether it's inaccuracy—their 6% rate versus your 30%—or the number of calls, because they don't include the blocked calls or calls that don't reach somebody in that process.
You recommend training. You recommend better services in tracking what's going on at the CRA. What do you recommend as a follow-up time period? To go from a 30% inaccuracy rate, what would be a good timeline for us to look at this and to ask for more information on changes that hopefully won't be needed?
View Alexander Nuttall Profile
CPC (ON)
Where is the issue? In your opinion, is this a top-down issue at this point? Is this strictly a training issue, whether it's on the quality assurance side or the people who are facing the client?
View Alexander Nuttall Profile
CPC (ON)
With all that said, if your business is taxation and somebody asks you when the interest is going to be charged on taxes owing, this is basically almost as easy a question as you can get. It amazes me that we need a screen to do that. How is it that we don't have training in place to show these people? This is basic.
If somebody called me when I was a banker and asked, “Alex, when does the interest start accruing?”, I knew the answer to that every single time—and it's different on every single deal—because I just know my business. How do our employees not know their business when it comes to everybody in the country having the same answer?
View Cathy McLeod Profile
CPC (BC)
I'm sorry, but I think what I'm really focusing on is your recommendations to the province, because I know there were circumstances in which perhaps three families would live in one household, and they would be eligible for one reimbursement, because it was per household.
That's something I just put on the table. I think the Red Cross does fantastic work, but I would say that the ability of emergency support services in the community to be flexible and culturally sensitive.... I looked at the evacuation centres in British Columbia versus those in Manitoba. I know you spoke about being able to respond to the different cultural needs, but I saw a tremendous difference between those two places in terms of the actual ability to introduce ceremony, to have traditional foods, and to be welcoming.
I would like you to comment on that particular component. As I say, I have nothing but respect for the work that you do, but I think the ability to be flexible and respond to first nations communities was somewhat limited.
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
Again, the point I was trying to get at was the reciprocity of how we are engaged in that compared with our competitors. I think that was the point being brought out.
The second thing I want to talk about is this. Industry, Science and Technology is about to study rural and remote Internet access and service and so on.
BDC and EDC, when you look at your customers, are there aspects of this that you feel we should be working to improve? I know from when we were down in the U.S. with that committee that the U.S. has the same issue there.
Ms. Glenn, could you perhaps fill us in a bit there?
View Phil McColeman Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Chair.
Thank you, Mr. Walbourne, for your testimony today and for being here.
I read your latest report, and when I look at the things you're saying, it makes me wonder what you would do if you had a clean slate, if none of these barriers existed.
In other words, you're a painter and you have a blank canvas. How would you establish a system that would work for the best possible delivery of benefits for our serving members in that transition time to Veterans Affairs? What would it be? What would it look like?
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
Also, in the business world you communicate a great deal with your customers to find out if they're happy or not. Do we do that to the extent that we should with our armed forces and our veterans?
View Martin Shields Profile
CPC (AB)
View Martin Shields Profile
2017-10-31 12:27
Okay. Thank you.
One of the other things you talked about is the multi-ethnic part of banking that you try to work at. One of the things in the community that I am from is that we have a very diverse community, probably one of the most diverse in Canada. I found the banks responded to that first in the sense that immediately you saw front-line staff from different ethnicities, and you saw them moving into management positions very quickly.
The one really interesting thing I saw was that in our health system we were having real problems in our ERs with the different languages. I went into a bank and I saw people of different ethnicities being taken back to talk on a phone. The bank had established a network in which they could get 200 languages online within two minutes. The private sector, your banking industry, did that quicker.
Do you have examples of where your banking industry has moved to do things like that?
View Alice Wong Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you very much.
First of all, I'd like to acknowledge a number of people who are here. The first is Mr. Soulière, for serving as the president of the national seniors council.
For your information, the seniors.ca map, which shows all the different provinces and their different benefits, is gone. They took it down in August.
The national seniors council has done a lot of studies, and those studies contain very valuable data on the healthy act of aging, seniors in social isolation, aging at home, and extending the work of seniors in the workforce. All of these are wonderful studies, and the data is still there. Hopefully it has not been taken away.
I thank Ms. Mackenzie for your work as an advocate in my province of British Columbia. I was there when you did the presentation for home care. Thank you very much for all the good work.
I thank the folks from academia as well, because the synergy is right there. It's in exactly the kind of panel we have here, with academics and government. We have at least two levels of government here.
I'll go back to the questions. The first is about caregiving. It may be related to Mr. Sangha's question about looking after seniors at home. I know that Australia supports family caregivers. I was also in London, England, with the minister and spoke with the carers' association. They have the term “carers”, which is informal. When we talk about caregiving, we have to distinguish between the unpaid, informal family caregivers and the paid, formal caregiver. I think I'm talking more about the informal caregiver .
Within our strategy we really need to look after those people as well, because they're there and their jobs are in jeopardy if their employers do not even recognize that their employees have those questions. I started the employers' panel and then, again because of the change of government, it's gone.
My question is this. Do you see the need for all three levels of government to be working together, and also for bringing back the federal-provincial-territorial forum, where two levels of government look at all the services so that there's no duplication, and then at the areas of need that both levels of government can identify? You need a leader in those areas.
This is open to all of you.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
John, I want to thank you for your service to your country and to the greater good of allied forces. I really appreciate it. Whether you know it or not, you've kept Canadians and people all around the world safe. I want to thank you, sir.
I want to ask you a question about equality of services. In Canada, one thing that comes up quite frequently is the frustration that veterans feel. Some of them are from smaller communities and are more isolated. You, sir, are from a very large metropolitan centre. Your organization is doing great work for a large number of veterans where you have a critical mass and where it makes sense to do so.
How would a veteran who is, say, returning to Knox City, Gorey, or O'Donnell, Texas, find the level of services that they get there, and what would your organization be able to do in the context of providing equity of services for somebody who doesn't live within the region?
View David Tilson Profile
CPC (ON)
I guess the question is what we do now. Do we get rid of them? Does the department take it over?
Maybe I'm alone, but my observation listening to the testimony is that it's not working.
In fact, maybe you could elaborate on this. What concerns does the department have with respect to the ICCRC and its tenure as a regulator over the last six years? You must have thoughts on whether it should continue, whether it can be fixed, and whether we should have something else.
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
If I can follow up, the public trust is the main thing. The public trust isn't there so far. I know that you are doing your level best, but it hasn't worked for the last number of years. Mr. Tilson asked if you—the government, the body—should take over, redo the whole thing, and let this ICCRC go and—
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you again, Minister. Coming from the community, you and I worked with the community long before we became MPs. These are the habits we have developed over the years.
Regarding the client services, as you know, much of our money gets spent on the immigration files on a daily basis. If you talk to one client or to 50 clients, the answer is basically the same. They will probably tell you that the process is taking too long, unsatisfactory answers, dropping of phone calls, and the list goes on. What can you tell them, Minister? What have you done to improve this, and is there something coming soon?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
Minister, we have talked about the crooked consultants. We heard the horrible stories. I personally want you to watch one of the videos that I'm going to give you on how people get ripped off. They are talking about committing suicide and so on.
I think many of us believe that if the application were made easier to fill out, people could do it themselves. Because the application is a bit harder, they end up going to the crooked consultant and this is where they get ripped off. Is there any way we can shorten it? Can something be done?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
From time to time—we hear this on a regular basis—people who fill out their own applications make a mistake. They're trying to save $1,000 or whatever the cost is.
We asked this question many times in the last committees. If there is a smaller issue, for example, data is filled out wrong, filled out in the wrong spot, or minor variances, why can't we call or email the client to tell them to fix it?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Yes, thank you.
Mr. Arnold, your country has a very organized immigration system. We know that. You have dedicated visa subclasses for skilled visa, family visa, parent visa, etc. I'm wondering if you could comment or maybe expand upon the effectiveness of implementing these specific subclasses for visas and how that has improved your client service delivery.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Could you expand upon that a bit? What are some of the experiences you've had? What is the impetus in terms of looking at condensing the number of classes as that relates to client service delivery? Where is the right balance? I would say that also having very vague characteristics makes it difficult to apply, too, so in your experience, where would you see that right mix?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Have you had to deal with instances where you perhaps have had one applicant apply through different streams writ large, even if it's for citizenship or whatnot? How has your country dealt with that?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
For example, let's say that in Canada you're applying for citizenship and you're applying under different classes or different programs. Sometimes that gums up the amount of resources it takes to process these applications.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
My next question, just before I had it over to Mr. Tilson, is for Ms. Desloges.
In previous studies that we've had at committee, you've talked very briefly about how current immigration laws already allow officials to apply discretion in exceptional circumstances, essentially talking about section 25. I just want to give you a quick opportunity to talk about this in terms of service delivery. Because it is such a nebulous process, could you see improvements in triggering that process from a service delivery perspective?
View David Tilson Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you.
Mr. Langford, thank you for the brief that has been prepared, and obviously we have a time problem here today.
I wonder if you could tell us the top priorities of the Canadian Bar Association for recommending improvements to client service delivery.
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Arnold, you talked about India, Chandigarh specifically. In my riding, that is the biggest issue for 80% of the immigrants. I have two full-time staff. They answer the confused questions. I'm not sure if it's a matter of confusion with the clients or on this side. What sort of rejection rates are there in Chandigarh? Would you know?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
I thought you said your rejection was in the single digits. Is this on the North American side?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
This question is for everybody. What can we do? For example, I got two emails this morning from dissatisfied customers. They are confused. What can be done to improve the system, the understanding between the applicants and headquarters?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
I've noticed many times that well-educated people make mistakes on applications, simple mistakes, and cases are rejected.
Is there any suggestion from any of you for the application to be made much simpler than what we have out there?
View David Tilson Profile
CPC (ON)
Ms. Malik, one of the biggest problems for members of Parliament is the complaints that we get from constituents about service delivery, delays in processing times, and their inability to get status reports. It's an awful problem for us.
How do you deal with those things?
View David Tilson Profile
CPC (ON)
The bells aren't going. Well, that's good news.
Thank you for your comments.
You are in competition. We love competition, but one of the issues of competition is improving your digital service offerings. What do you do? I'm saying there are obviously other institutions that you're in competition with. How do you keep up?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you so much, Madam Chair.
We talked about the call centres. How often do both of you see these issues? I'm talking about practical situations.
In the past summer, my office tried to call the call centre over and over. The answer had something to do with a PR renewal. They were told it was not ready yet. When I called the minister's office, the answer I got was that it was not ready yet. When I called the client to say I was sorry, but it wasn't ready yet, he said, “Oh, no, sir; I got it a couple of days ago.” How often do you see these things? This is something I dealt with, and I was embarrassed by the whole situation.
How often do you see stuff like this, and what can be done?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
We're talking about improving the system. As you know, we have limited budgets, and more than 50% of our work is making the calls to the call centre and following up with constituents and the call centre. Do both of you have any suggestions on how we can improve it?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
On a different topic, this is from personal experience in the last year. If people who sponsored their parents or anybody else went for professional help, my experience is that they were approved 80% to 90% instantly, and they were done. The people who filed their own applications, who didn't have the $500 or $1,000 to pay somebody—
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you.
To speak from personal experience again, last year I saw a number of these cases. Of the people who filled out their own forms, many found their forms rejected. The people who went to people such as you were successful.
What can be done? In some cases, I personally know that they're absolutely qualified, and they were rejected simply because of an error made because they're not professionals in filling out those forms. Are there any suggestions you can give on how we can make it easier for people to do it for themselves, especially poor people? In some cases I have to tell them to see a professional, but they don't have the five hundred bucks. Is there anything you can bring forward that can be done?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
You don't know how hard it is for me to tell somebody who doesn't have the money that they have to go see somebody. I was coming from that point of view.
Personally, somebody came to see me over and over. They are absolutely qualified, but they were denied. When I made the phone call, they said, “Oh no, they have to reapply for it.”
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
Most of the time when they come to us, the damage is done. This is the problem.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Madam Chair. What a great chair you are.
This is for Mr. Kurland. I want to ask you a few questions around the electronic travel authorization. You've been in the media around this recently, in March with CBC. You noted that the rules and exemptions are more complex than officials would have travellers believe.
Bringing this discussion back to client services, in your experience, is there anything the government could be doing to better inform travellers of this requirement so that they're not sideswiped by the new rules?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Are you hearing anything else from your broader clientele in terms of issues with this particular program or with its introduction?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Some of my colleagues have been bringing up a theme of interactions with MP offices when people are accessing consulting services and then require an MP to intervene. Is there anything the government can do to prevent the escalation of files to MP offices, as it relates to your line of business?
From my own personal experience, sometimes we get stuff referred from immigration consultants. There is really no consistency in how that happens. Even for us, as legislators who end up offering this service, is there anything that you can advise to us in terms of consistency on applying service at an MP level?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
In that instance, for the casework that I would get through my office, we phone a special hotline for MPs about it, but are you saying that some of your clients basically do not have adequate access to service in terms of their ability to pick up the phone?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
In the time that I have left, could you provide your two or three top concrete recommendations in terms of change around service delivery, based on what your organization has heard and on what your clients are saying? What would those recommendations be?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
To both of the witnesses, I expect that one of the themes we're going to hear over and over again in the testimony in this study is that we need more resources, but the people who have offered that so far have not been particularly specific in that. I'm just wondering if you feel that is the issue. If so, what does “resources” mean, and is there any pedantry in the process that could be eliminated to provide better access or better efficiency with the resources that we already have in place? That's question number one.
Question number two, Mr. Nurse, is about your comment around the process being very faceless. I would agree with you, given that when people contact my office, it's because they feel as though they haven't reached a human being. When you made that comment, I was wondering, in the context of what I just asked in terms of resources and process, how can we humanize the process? Are there key choke points with service delivery where that could be fixed?
I can let you go first. Go ahead.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
As your recommendation here, are you saying we should review the fees for processing services?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
I'm sorry to interrupt. I want to leave some time for my colleague, Ms. Harder.
Mr. Nurse, you commented on attitude, and I think it's come up as a theme. Without denigrating the public service, I think it's something that is going to come up over and over again.
Could you just very briefly explain what that means to you and perhaps provide a concrete recommendation for performance management outcomes or something that could be inserted into front-line workers' performance reviews or something to that effect, and could you quantify what that means?
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2016-12-13 17:00
Mr. Kurland, my question is to you. You raised this point with regard to the Canada Revenue Agency, and I find it a fascinating one. Can you expand a little bit for me with regard to the best practices that we could adopt from the CRA and bring over to the IRCC? Could you outline that within the brief minute and a half?
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2016-12-13 17:01
That basically summed it up. That's really what I wanted to know.
Essentially, it comes down to having real-time updates that are accessible to the applicant rather than to me as a member of Parliament who has to be the one who phones in on a hotline, waits on the phone, and then is able to get an answer.
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you so much, Mr. Chair.
Both of you were here in the last hour as well. If you listened to the whole thing, you know it's a human factor. People, clients, come to the MP's office because we treat them as humans, we sympathize with them, we listen to them, and we act and react.
Do you think we have a disconnect at the call centre? The clients would look like something like this, for example, while the management and the call centre people may be different. They don't understand that side of the equation. What can be done to take some of the burden away from the MP's office?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
With regard to the cost analysis, the IRCC spends huge money out there.
If both of you were the immigration minister for the day, the week, or the month, what changes would you bring to the table for call centres or.... You understand things from both sides.
What would you do, David? Let's start with you.
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
What would you do if the file was right but something was missing, a very small item? What would you do so the guy wouldn't have to pay the money again or he wouldn't have to get back into the queue? What would you suggest?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you to all the officials for coming in and giving us the lowdown.
My first question, for Mr. Orr or anybody else, is with regard to the passport. Passport Canada’s information systems are being integrated into the global case management system. This follows the 2013 shift in responsibility for passports to what was then the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. A recent internal audit of the integration process found that, among other things, planning for security requirements was inadequate. Could you please give the committee an update on actions taken to fix the system and on when you expect the passport program to be fully integrated into the GCMS?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you.
In 2015, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada launched a survey to measure the impact of program modernization on client satisfaction. How many people participated in this survey? Were participants Canadians or foreign nationals? Can you share the highlights of the survey with the committee? Also, have any measures been taken to respond to the results of the survey? Last, does IRCC plan to do more surveys on the same topic?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
Were the 15% of customers dissatisfied basically because it was taking too long? I see that 85% were satisfied. Mr. Orr's statement says “85% of them were satisfied with their immigration and citizenship experience. But they also told us that they would like to get more information about their case status.”
Their dissatisfaction was really with the length of time...?
View Bob Saroya Profile
CPC (ON)
The target for economic immigrants in the 2017 immigration level plan is 73,700, a significantly higher number than the number of foreign nationals who arrived through express entry in the first year of this operation. There were 9,740 individuals, including principal applicants and their families, who came. How many economic immigrants have arrived through express entry in its second year? Has the department been able to maintain the service standard of processing 80% of express entry applications in six months or less?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
I want to begin with a couple of questions on the eTA process. We've been hearing that some travellers have experienced problems with the new eTA requirement that makes it necessary for visa exempt travellers to obtain an eTA to fly to or transit through the country. While this helps us to understand who is coming into the country, there have been some problems with its implementation. We heard from a spokesperson for Air Canada that it has been encouraging the government to do more to publicize its eTA requirement.
Could you give us a sense within the context of your client service delivery model why this hasn't been better publicized for those travelling to Canada, and what practices could be put in place to ensure this doesn't happen in the future?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Has there been any formal working group or process put in place with Canadian airlines specifically, given the feedback from Air Canada in order to address some of their concerns? Have you guys reached out and formalized any sort of dialogue process?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
So far you guys have not diagnosed exactly, to your words, what the problems would be coming out of some of the.... We're hearing a lot of this in the media as well that there are issues. From what you just said, you actually haven't identified the problems yet.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Obviously, as you mentioned, they're shared responsibilities with CBSA. Could you tell us a little about the communication process that IRCC has put in place in order to functionalize or operationalize the eTA? Have there been any bumps along the way on that?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Are you tracking numbers, in terms of how many people have experienced issues? Do you have a CRM model or anything in terms of tracking problems?
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I would like to thank the witnesses.
Over the past 10 years, my office has provided a great deal of assistance on various files. Very often, incomplete requests or forms are sent to the department. This, of course, eventually causes delays in the process.
It seems that people have trouble doing the basic work and obtaining the necessary information. We often find that a document is missing or has not been signed, or that a supporting document is missing. This really bogs down the system and delays processing times.
People come to see us and we have to start the whole process over again with them. We take the time to sit down and look at the form. We go back to the beginning of their application and review the entire process as far as they have reached to see what is missing. Departmental employees do nonetheless provide valuable assistance. They remind us of things.
Is there a lack of information initially? Are there enough agents to provide assistance from the outset? If an hour or more were invested with each person, people would be able to fill out their forms properly in the first place, and that might eliminate days, weeks or months of delays.
View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
Do you know how many files have gone through the entire process without a hitch?
In my constituency office, I have to assign at least one employee full-time to deal with immigration files and make sure a second person is trained if the first person is on maternity leave or is absent for other reasons. This requires a tremendous amount of energy from an MP's office. Yet I am in a region where the immigration rate is not particularly high. It seems like all the files end up at my office sooner or later. For example, the files of all four members of a single family have ended up at my office. It seems that the success rate is low.
Do you have statistics on that?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Going back to my colleague Jacques Gourde's line of questioning, just so you know, for all of us around the table here it is an enormous amount of work in our constituency offices to deal with immigration casework. Again, just to re-emphasize what some of my Liberal colleagues have said, this is a non-partisan thing. We have very small operating budgets, and I also will say that I have a full-time employee in my office who deals just with client service delivery issues.
I'll preface this by saying that the decision made earlier this year to take away MP access from embassies, as well as the ministerial advisory office, was very poor. It was a terrible decision. It really affected service delivery within our office. I'm glad to see that it has been semi-reversed.
I'm not sure what some of my colleagues would say, but certainly for me and my office, one of the biggest complaints we get from people is the reporting of failures in customer service by the call centre in Montreal. I would say that's probably, by an order of magnitude, the number one complaint that I get. People experience very long wait times on the phone, as well as very onerous automated call menus, especially for people whose English or French is their second language. The number one thing I have to respond to in my office is that they don't understand the information that was given to them or that it's confusing, or the charge is that it's unhelpful.
Do you track the call centre usage at all? We are going to write up a report here. Is there anything that you think could be done to overcome this? It's such a burden on our offices right now.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
What would be.... I'm sorry. Go ahead. I was just going to say in terms of attitude, what are the critical success factors in performance evaluation that you use for a front-line call centre worker in Montreal? What are they tasked with managing? What would their supervisor be looking at in terms of an employment review framework or a performance review framework?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Would you be willing to table with the committee information on what the key critical success factors or performance review metrics would be for front-line call centre workers in terms of documentation?
To me, it seems a little off that quantity would be what their performance evaluation would be.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
Great.
One of the complaints that I get in my office is that when people phone the call centre, it seems that the algorithm the agents are driving to is to get an email address so that template information can be provided. Where my office gets burdened with it is: “They didn't answer my question; they just provided me with a template.”
Can you tell us a bit more on why that process is there as part of your service delivery algorithm?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
I guess I'll just close with this, and it's more of something to explore with my colleagues around the table. I think it would be really useful. I've been doing this for five years now. We want to be your allies, and we want you to be our allies because immigration processing works when we're all giving the same information and messaging and it's arm's-length and it's not politicized. I think there's often a disconnect in terms of what MP office staff, especially new MP office staff, understand as your service delivery algorithms, and there's really no feedback in terms of saying, “Hey, this isn't working”, because what we're getting are the complaints all the time.
I would just suggest that if the department, as part of this survey, would be willing to provide greater information on where your algorithms are right now, we could provide feedback as well in terms of where we see the friction points on that, and then hopefully have some sort of continuous feedback mechanisms with MP office staff as well, too.
I think that, for me, would have been the first step, before changing the call centre process, because at the end of the day, we want to be on the same team here. I'm not sure if there's been any thought given to that sort of thing, but certainly I would offer this up in the time I have, and as a QA process as well.
View David Tilson Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
We've been talking about processes, and some of the witnesses who have come to the committee thus far have said that the application system that Canada has is flawed. An applicant must submit their information multiple times, essentially opening a new file as they approach the department, be it as a visitor or for a visa, sponsorship, or residency. It has also been suggested that a better model could be used by the CRA.
Starting with Monsieur Jacques, because you did get into the topic of centralization, can you suggest a model that could be used and would be better than what we have?
View David Tilson Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Jacques, may I interrupt just for a second? The reason these comments have been made is because the big concern that has come before the committee is that the delays are unreasonable. That's what a number of witnesses have told us. We're trying to figure out what we can recommend to the government and how these delays can be shortened.
One suggestion was that there be a new model. You're saying that the model is adequate. Is that what you're saying?
View David Tilson Profile
CPC (ON)
Monsieur Jacques, can you make recommendations to the government as to how the regulations could be changed to reduce the delays?
View David Tilson Profile
CPC (ON)
All right.
It's been suggested by some witnesses that a cap on applications for parents and grandparents be raised to 20,000 or 30,000 per year, or that the cap be removed entirely.
Perhaps we can start with Ms. Chomyn.
What would be the impact of such a move on the operations that we have? Specifically, what would be the impact on staffing, wait times, backlogs, etc.?
View David Tilson Profile
CPC (ON)
You're responsible for Pakistan. Due to the security in Pakistan, applications from Pakistan are processed by London-based visa officers who travel to Islamabad to conduct interviews, often requiring interpreters for several different languages. How many officers in London process the workload from Pakistan?
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