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Are they EI 'targets' or fraud 'quotas'? CBCNews.ca readers have some thoughts on that.

Categories: Community, Politics

Our stories on employment insurance reforms and fraud investigations have been some of the most commented-upon recently.

The Canadian Press story about the 50 or so federal employees who are visiting EI recipients at home has just shy of 2,200 comments, and our coverage of Human Resources Minister Diane Finley clarifying that EI investigators have "targets" for catching fraud, not "quotas," has more than 1,100.

In the comments, members of the CBC Community said that Finley was quibbling over the difference between the two terms. She had previously denied reports that EI investigators have been given monthly dollar quotas.

  • "That's what they call quotas at my office, too. 'Targets,'" said weefatchap.

  • "She doesn't do herself any favours by trying to be clever about the difference between 'target' and 'quota.' There is, in fact, a difference. Quota means a proportion of something, but does not explicitly mean that achieving that proportion is an objective. In the context, however, it is implied that the quota is an objective. 'Target,' on the other hand, is very explicitly an objective," said DecoderRing.

  • "So, you set 'performance targets' for your staff, thereby putting the fear of firing into them if they do not perform. In the meantime, thousands of honest EI recipients are sitting in fear waiting for the 'knock on the door.' Is this the way we wish our government to work? By fear? How about care, compassion and competence? That's been known to work much better, resulting in a civil society," said NovaScotiaFarmer.

  • "The only other government workers that will typically come to your door, unannounced, are police officers and child protection workers. In both of those cases, if they are at your door, it is probably bad news for you. We can now add to this list, Employment Insurance Quota/Target Inspectors. And this government wonders why people are upset," said civicboy.

But some said that there was nothing wrong with the government having performance objectives for its investigators.

  • "How dare an employer tell an employee they have to do their jobs and have goals?" said guystone.

  • "Guystone, doing the job of investigating or verifying EI claims isn't the same as ensuring that $40,000 worth of benefits per month are cut," replied OpinionsToGo.

  • "Every job has goals, and either direct or indirect 'quotas.' As long as the person is guilty they should be found. The money spent on benefits should be kept to a minimum, particularly when spent on cheats," responded guystone.

  • "With all due respect to the NDP, I certainly hope the federal government is taking steps to ensure that the money I pay into this program is used for its intended purpose. Based on my read of things, if there's no fraud involved, nobody has anything to worry about," said litig8or98.

We value the discussion and debate that happens in the comments of our stories. Keep it coming, and thanks for following our coverage.

Tags: Community, Community Reaction, Politics

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