"It was just against my values... harassing claimants," says Employment Insurance investigator Sylvie Therrien.
Photo Credit: CBC News

Government employee suspended for revealing targets on benefit cuts

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A federal government investigator was suspended for leaking documents showing investigators had to meet quotas of $485,000 each year in recovering employment insurance benefits from unemployed claimants.

Sylvie Therrien was suspended without pay in May. Reports of the suspension came out in the last few days.

In an interview this week with Canada’s national public television broadcaster CBC, Therrien said: “It just was against my values… harassing claimants… trying to penalize them in order to save money for the government. We had quotas to meet,”

Media reports about the quotas surfaced in Februrary. At the time, the then Human Resources (HRSDC) Minister Diane Finley denied there were “quotas” opting for the word “performance objectives”.

RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda spoke to Steve McCuaig, the National Executive Vice-President of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU) which represents SylvieTherrien.

 

More information:
CBC News – EI whistleblower suspended without pay (includes video and interview) – here
Minister Diane Finley in Commons Feb 26, 2013 on “performance objectives” – here
Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU) website – ceiu-seic.ca

twitter.com/wojtekgwiazda

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One comment on “Government employee suspended for revealing targets on benefit cuts
  1. Avatar David Gerrior says:

    Wow, what an interesting story. Good for Sylvie for coming out and telling the truth. Well done. Sylvie, I’m sorry you were made to suffer as a result of telling the truth. However, I think your story is only the “tip of the iceberg” and that this government is totally out of control. I find it hard to believe so many of the stories we are hearing. I suspect we will see more people leaving this government over similar issues. Something is very wrong at the top and I hope we can afford to wait until the next election to make the necessary change in government before we completely lose faith in our leadership.