MP Wayne Stetski is calling the Canada Revenue Agency’s performance unacceptable. (File)

‘It’s time for CRA to stop blocking Canadians,’ says Stetski

MP speaks out against Canada Revenue Agency

A report that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) blocks over half the calls it receives from Canadian taxpayers is outrageous and unacceptable, Kootenay Columbia MP Wayne Stetski said this week.

“It is clearly unacceptable for the government to deliberately block Canadians who are seeking information and advice,” Stetski said. “CRA has a mandate to help taxpayers understand our complex and often bewildering tax forms, rules, and procedures; they can’t simply ignore those who call for help.”

Stetski’s comments followed a report from the Auditor General of Canada Tuesday, which found CRA blocks (by giving them a busy signal or a message to go to the website or call back later) 54 per cent of callers. An additional 14 per cent get re-routed to an automated attendant. Ten per cent of those hang up within a minute when they can’t find the information they want.

“Even more shocking is the news that when callers reach a live person at CRA, over 30 per cent of the information they are given is wrong,” Stetski said. “When you add up all the numbers, fewer than one in five Canadians who call CRA actually get accurate assistance.”

“Here in Kootenay Columbia, we know all too well the problems with getting CRA’s help,” Stetski said. “My constituency staff in Cranbrook and Nelson receiving numerous calls from people who are frustrated with CRA and just want answers to their tax questions.”

The CRA responded to the Auditor General’s report by saying that a new phone system, to be installed by the end of 2018, will help. But they also claimed that people prefer to get a busy signal than to wait in a queue. The Auditor General said CRA could not back up that claim with research.

“I work with a variety of agencies and their Ministers every day,” Stetski said. “We are seeing the response times from a number of federal government departments getting worse but CRA is one of the most egregious.

“It’s time for CRA to stop blocking Canadians.”

Just Posted

Y2Y report warns of growing tension between industry and environment in Revelstoke

It includes 18 recommendations for land use, tourism, forestry, climate change and First Nations.

Healing with honesty: Justice served 40 years later

Revelstoke senior gets house arrest for sexually assaulting stepdaughter

UPDATE: Trans-Canada Highway closure extended until 4 p.m. east of Revelstoke

The highway was closed after a head-on collision between trucks early Dec. 6

Avalanche control west of Revelstoke today

Highway 1 to be closed for two hours

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservative urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

Slippery sections reported on Okanagan and Shuswap highways

Some sections of the Trans-Canada highway have black ice on them.

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read