Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you all for being here today.
I want to follow up on what Mr. Hogg was saying. Was this the first audit done on call centres?
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
Right, okay.
From what I understand—and please correct me if I'm wrong—the workload has increased because your office is receiving more legislative mandates for audits from the House of Commons.
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay.
You mentioned that there was an increase of more than 93 audits. Given the conversation with Mr. Kelly and his question, how is the priority for which audit is going to be done determined?
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
Okay. Thank you.
Would there be any plans for the office to conduct a follow-up audit with regard to ensuring compliance with the recommendations on this call centre audit that was just completed?
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you both for being here.
Ms. MacLean, I just want to follow up. I know you've been here a couple of times before today, and I know I had brought up Canada summer jobs. There were constituents in my riding who were having the problem of calling and getting a voice mail saying the voice mail was full.
I reached out to you personally. Our first interaction was May 7; my office reached out on May 7. I got an acknowledgement email May 10. I did a follow-up email on May 22, and it's June 6, and we still don't know. They also cannot get any answers.
I'm just wondering if this seems to be a common thing. We just need answers. My constituents need answers on the application process, so if you can connect with me offline or return my email, I'd really really appreciate that so that we can get answers for my constituents.
Also, I'm sure you're aware that this committee completed a study on supporting families after the loss of a child. We heard witness testimony from parents who had suddenly lost an infant while collecting maternity or paternity benefits. We heard that the way Service Canada employees had interacted and responded with these grieving parents was completely unacceptable and uncompassionate.
What I'm interested in knowing is how ESDC plans to address these issues by providing adequate training for families who are grieving.
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
Since we finished that report a few months ago, I just wonder if the department has received it and if they're taking it seriously, about additional training or having conversations with employees in general.
I know when the department was here before, they had said there was training provided, but there seems to be a gap there. Having lost a child and then being told, because your child ceases to exist, your benefits cease to exist, is absolutely inappropriate.
Therefore, I hope it is a report that's taken seriously and that we don't have that situation occurring. As Mr. Morrissey said, that's the face of the government. It's absolutely unacceptable to have people talk to people who are grieving and not empathize or be compassionate.
That's all. I just want to make sure that it's taken seriously.
My next question is in regard to the Auditor General's report, where it indicates that ESDC has not set call centre service standards that are relevant to clients. That is what the report had said, that the department's standards do not meet Treasury Board service standards. The department's response in the report rejects this assessment by stating that established standards are already relevant and consistent with client expectations.
Where is the disconnect between the AG's report and the department?
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
Thank you.
Mr. Chair, I have just one quick question. I know you let everybody else go over time, so I am going to go over time.
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
I don't know if you can speak to this or not. Do departments not have the same service standards amongst themselves? Are they each set individually? Is that what I'm understanding?
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
It would be a great opportunity to have the Auditor General come to talk—
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
Thanks, Chair.
It's just a great opportunity, especially coming out of the AG's report last week. We know that call centres are definitely part of what this committee studies. It's important for us to have a conversation on that to know what's going to be done, what the agenda is or what the objectives are to fix that backlog and delay. There are millions of Canadians who are unable to access somebody on the other end of the phone.
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