Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Quotes and Quotas

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Quotes and Quotas

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Quotes and quotas

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An editorial from the St. John's Telegram, published Feb. 27:

Hey, everybody, it's Wednesday -- let's have fun with words! Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley is still in the hot seat after Quebec newspaper Le Devoir published a story showing the quotas that employment insurance investigators were supposed to reach.

As usual, the first approach was "deny, deny, deny."

"There are no individual quotas for employees of HRSD who are looking at EI," Finley said in the House of Commons when she was asked about the Le Devoir report.

Finley later confirmed to reporters there are "objectives" set by the department that vary "according to the area." The work -- which has performance evaluations tied to workers finding $485,000 apiece in fraudulent claims -- has also been described as "targets," and on Monday, Finley was accused of having misled the House of Commons by denying the quotas existed.

Her department describes the approach -- which the CBC has reported includes unannounced home visits -- as "integrity work."

All right then. Certainly, no one wants to see the EI system being abused. The money in the fund is there to help workers who are legitimately out of work, and it should not be taken by anyone else, whether that is an ineligible individual or a federal government who simply grabs the money and uses it for its own purposes (as a former federal government did).

Then again, no one should be keen to see the English language so roundly abused either.

If workers are told they have, as part of their job, to find a certain dollar-value of EI cheats, then they have a quota. …

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