Reality Check: Conservatives caught misleading Canadians about EI quotas

In February, when pressed by the NDP during Question Period about EI investigators being given quotas for reducing claims, both the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary for Human Resources and Skills Development vehemently denied any quotas existed.

I have been clear over the past two days, just as I was on February 1. Service Canada does not have individual quotas for staff. There is a clear difference between a quota and a target, and that is simply that there are no negative consequences for staff who fail to meet targets. – Diane Finley, House of Commons, February 26, 2013 (underline added)

If these performance targets are not met, there are no negative consequences for employees. –Kellie Leitch- House of Commons, April 29, 2013 (underline added)

Service Canada has been clear that it does not have quotas, as there are no consequences for not meeting service delivery targets. – Kellie Leitch- House of Commons, June 3, 2013 (underline added)

But these Conservative claims were proven false after whistleblower Sylvie Therrien came forward. When this EI investigator failed to meet her monthly quota, she was not only encouraged to reinterpret information to further trim benefits to unemployed Canadians, she was also penalized for failing to meet quotas.

For Therrien, who leaked information about the quotas after the government falsely denied they existed, retribution against her went much further. She was suspended without pay and is facing possible dismissal.

There have been many examples over the years of reprisals against government whistleblowers, including public servants who helped reveal the sponsorship scandal, and others who exposed waste and abuse in the Department of Foreign Affairs. After pressure from the opposition and whistleblowers themselves, the Liberals brought forward weak legislation to deal with the issue. Much more still needs to be done. – Conservative Party platform, page 10, 2006

Not only have the Conservatives tried to hide the fact they cut EI benefits for Canadians who have been thrown out of work, they have also broken their promise to protect whistleblowers.

Canadians deserve better than more Conservative hypocrisy.