Auditor General report gives Liberal Government a failing grade

May 20, 2019

In official Ottawa, few voices command authority like the Auditor General (AG). Ever since the Liberal sponsorship scandal over a decade ago, whenever the Office of the Auditor General speaks, people take note. This spring’s report is no different and we should be grateful for the work this office does. And once again, it’s not good news for the Trudeau government. That’s in fact the problem; they’ve been doing very little governing at all. Here are three examples of Liberal failure pointed out by the Auditor General.

Government Call Centers

Take for example what the AG report says about federal government call centres. Ever call 1-800 O-Canada and sit on the phone for hours for nothing? You’re not alone. The AG looked at the call centres of 3 departments: Employment and Social Development Canada; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; and Veterans Affairs Canada. The results weren’t pretty.

The audit found that half of the 16 million Canadians that phoned a government call centre couldn’t reach an actual agent. Seven million were redirected to an automated system, given a website address or cut off completely. More than a million simply gave up and hung up.

And it’s only going to get worse. Despite a modernization project launched years ago, only 8 of 221 call centres have been upgraded and there’s no plans to do so for the rest. That’s a hard fail.

Processing of Asylum Claims

Over the past few years, Canada’s refugee system has been flooded with new claims, especially from people entering through unofficial border crossings via the U.S. What auditors found was troubling as they looked at how claims are processed by the Canada Border Services Agency; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; and the Immigration and Refugee Board.

While the government has set a target of processing claims within two months, auditors found the backlog has grown from 59,000 in 2010 to 71,000 in 2018. Instead of being processed in two months, claims are now taking two years as the system can’t keep up with the number of claims

Two-and-a-half years ago the Prime Minister tweeted with great fanfare that those fleeing war and persecution were welcome in Canada. He’s even posed for countless photo opportunities as refuges from Syria and other places arrived in Canada.  Sadly, after the cameras are turned off, the system has now become overburdened. Another fail.

Equipping Officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Auditors also investigated the ability of RCMP officers to respond effectively to active shooter situations. You will recall in 2014 when two officers were tragically killed on duty in Moncton, New Brunswick. The audit investigated whether the RCMP provides its officers with the hard-body armour vests and carbines (light automatic rifles) they need to respond to active shooter situations and the results were mixed. While there are enough vests by numbers, not all officers had access to one. Furthermore, it was unknown whether officers that needed a carbine could obtain one. Overall, auditors uncovered what they simply called a “lack of planning.”

For people who put their lives on the line for us, we owe it to them to provide the equipment they need to do their job as safely as possible. This is a complete failure of the Trudeau government.

After nearly four years, we are finally seeing the type of government run by these Liberals. In a recent speech, Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer summed up the Prime Minister perfectly:

“For him, all the world’s a stage, and the rest of us are merely players in his act.”

Truer words could not be spoken. The problem is that he prefers playing the role of prime minister over doing the job. He acts when he should be governing.

Saskatchewan deserves better; indeed, all Canadians deserve better.

You can read the full AG report at: www.oag-bvg.gc.ca.

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