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Canada Emergency Response Benefit

October 17, 2022

Leader, we just learned that some federal employees illegally received CERB payments. They were not entitled to the benefit since they were employed by the federal government. Can you tell us how many employees are involved, how much in total they received illegally, what measures your government took or plans to take to recover this money and what disciplinary action was taken against these employees?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ + ]

Thank you for the question. I will have to look into it. I will come back to you with a response as soon as possible.

When you give your response, I have something to ask of you. In an access to information request, journalists were told, following the first two requests submitted in May, that the federal agency had indicated there were no documents that would answer their questions about the number of employees or sanctions regarding the employees. Thanks to further investigation and another email, the journalists later obtained a copy of an internal email that referred to 44 employees who had been dismissed.

This reminded me of an answer I got from the government about the number of spaces or the number of employees on telework, when I was told that those figures were unavailable. Will you be able to give us the exact information or, once again, will you hide behind claims that the document, or the information, isn’t available, when it does in fact exist in an office somewhere, in an internal memo?

Senator Gold [ + ]

As I already said, I will do my best to try to get an answer and come back to the chamber with that information as soon as I have it.

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