New Stats Show Shocking Delays at Service Canada

NDP will fight out-of-touch Conservative cuts to services families rely on

OTTAWA — NDP Human Resources Critic Jean Crowder and Employment Insurance Critic Claude Patry released new information today, obtained exclusively by the NDP, showing shocking delays at Service Canada call centres.

In September, almost 25% of calls related to EI were abandoned because callers weren’t able to reach a representative. Hang up rates in some regions, like Winnipeg and Vancouver, can be as much as a third of all calls. While in Nova Scotia, the Glace Bay call centre is going to be closed even though 25% of callers hang up before they can actually talk to someone.

“If the Conservatives choose to cut even further, access to these services will get even worse, regardless of what the Conservatives claim,” said Patry.

The stats show that other programs have also been affected, like the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security. Half the calls made for these services between September 26 and October 2 didn’t even get an automated message.

“The government’s plan makes no sense,” said Crowder. “They’re asking Service Canada to do more with less. But these declines in call responses show that the system isn’t working well enough, now. What will happen when the government makes further cuts to these call centres?”

The data obtained by the NDP raised additional concerns, according to Crowder. “Between the middle and the end of September, there were over 100,000 less calls per week. But the number of abandoned calls increased. Canadians are already angry. Service Canada must be able to provide decent services to Canadians.”

“There has been a 6.6% increase in number of people receiving EI, so access to help from Service Canada will be vital in the future for many Canadians,” concluded Patry. “Canadian families deserve better.”