Deliver Accessible and Effective Government Services
Addendum to Sept 6 2018 Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau
A 2017 Auditor General’s report confirmed what many people in Saskatoon West have been feeling - Canadians are receiving poor service from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The report indicated that between March 2016 and March 2017, the agency blocked some 50% of Canadians’ phone calls, and provided misleading information to inquiries almost 30% of the time. The CRA’s service has degraded to a point where it is inaccessible and unreliable, leaving many Canadians scrambling when they have inquiries, or go to complete their tax returns. The Saskatoon West constituency office is inundated with inquiries from frustrated constituents who feel they cannot get a satisfactory level of client service from the CRA.
In March 2017, a letter was sent to the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier detailing the erosion of client services at the CRA. The letter captured the frustrations of those living in Saskatoon West and recommended that your government seriously consider alternative service delivery methods, like in-person counter service, to complement the phone service.
A letter was also sent to the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos in March 2017, detailing the many administrative obstacles preventing Saskatoon West families from accessing the highly-touted Canada Child Benefit (CCB). There is no doubt that such a benefit provides much-needed relief for Canadian families, and smooth administration and access should be of paramount concern. Restoring counter service would allow families having difficulty accessing their benefits an invaluable opportunity to speak directly with CRA representatives to resolve their issues more efficiently.
We recommend that your government take immediate action to fix the underlying causes of CRA’s customer service issues. Additionally, we recommend bringing back in-person counter service so that people in Saskatoon West, and across Canada, have the opportunity to speak directly with CRA representatives.
A question on the Canada Child Benefit was asked in the House of Commons on March 22, 2017.