No fewer than 120 employees of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) have lost their civil service jobs for fraudulently claiming the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), meant for people out of work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The federal body announced this in writing to the media on Friday. The fate of 450 other federal officials still under investigation by government departments remains unresolved. More layoffs may come.
“It’s all very unfortunate,” responded Mark Brier, president of the Union of Taxation Employees, affiliated with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). The organization represents 38,000 of the 60,000 civil servants in the Revenue Agency.
“While we have a duty to represent each of our members, there is very little we can do for someone who has committed an illegal act or violated an employer’s code of conduct,” he said.
80% were fired
Recall that on June 30, the CRA initiated a review process to identify employees in its department. In all, fewer than 600 files — or 1% of its employees — were identified as employees who committed such an act.
To date, one fourth (150) files have been reviewed. Of the number, only 20% – or 30 of them – were cleared. However, it was a stark contrast to the 120 other employees who were all fired from the federal public service.
Some, it has been suggested, may even be the subject of complaints to the RCMP that could lead to criminal charges.
Silence in Revenue Canada
CRA did not respond to our requests for clarification about, among other things, when and under what circumstances these workers would be discharged (with or without a federal pension?). Union representatives on Friday denied they knew.
It is also impossible to know how long it will take to complete the investigation into the disputed actions of the remaining approximately 450 employees. We have a complete picture of fraud committed by Revenue Canada employees during the pandemic.
Through its spokeswoman, Nina Yusoupova, the agency said: “The agency takes all forms of wrongdoing very seriously and is strongly committed to protecting the integrity of Canada’s tax and benefit systems and demonstrating to Canadians that it is fair and trustworthy. The agency. When misconduct is discovered, we take appropriate action to address it.” Let’s confirm.
CERB has provided benefits of $500 per week to people who lost their jobs in 2020. The CRA said that any employee who applied for CERB “unfairly” had to repay the amounts received if they had not already done so.
– in collaboration with QMI Agency.