As proud as I am of the multi-million funding announcements that I and my colleagues have been making across Northern Ontario, I’m particularly proud of something that, until now, may have flown under the radar – the restoration of federal services in Sudbury and the new jobs that go with it.
The federal government has a physical presence in Sudbury in the form of the Canada Revenue Agency centre on Notre Dame Avenue and the Service Canada centre downtown, among others.
I am proud to say that 730 new, good-paying, full-time jobs are being created in these two centres, part of the federal government’s commitment to reversing the public service cuts of the previous 10 years and restoring access to the services Canadians need and want.
First, 83 new employees are being hired at the EI Call Centre and Delivery Operations Centre in Sudbury to improve access to Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) program.
Included in Budget 2016 was $19 million in funding this year to make EI service delivery more responsive to Canadians. This funding will go towards enabling Service Canada to meet the increased demand for EI claims processing, and offer better support to Canadians as they search for new employment.
As well, $73 million in funding was committed over two years to enhance access to EI call centres. This will increase the number of call centre agents, which will reduce waiting times and ensure that Canadians can access the information and support they need to receive their EI benefits as quickly as possible.
And there’s even better news in our Canada Revenue Agency operations, where restructuring will result in the creation of 650 new full-time jobs in Sudbury.
The CRA has more than 40,000 employees across the country, including more than 1,700 full-time employees in Sudbury.
Specifically, the CRA has approximately 1,150 FTEs dedicated to processing activities in Sudbury, and over the period of implementation of the Service Renewal Initiative the CRA projects an estimated additional 650 FTEs are to be added to the Sudbury Processing Centre.
This Initiative will improve the way the Agency’s workload is managed by consolidating processing activities in fewer sites. Processing Centres in Winnipeg, Sudbury, Jonquière and Summerside will grow; as will Varication and Collection centres in Surrey, Shawinigan and St. John’s.
Agency operations in in Ottawa and Montreal will be scaled back as a result of the restructuring, while the centre in Toronto will be closed.
This change will result in significant growth in Sudbury, will ensure the sustainability of the centre and will provide employees with certainty and stability going forward.
These investments will result in more year-round stable permanent and term employment opportunities in Sudbury.
I am so proud of the work we have undertaken in Sudbury in our first year! We have made significant investments in infrastructure and education, in youth and seniors, in arts & and culture and economic development.
And now, after a decade of cutting back on public services, our government is investing in the services Canadians need and want. Sudbury is a hub for government services, a centre of excellence in frontline and national support services, and I’m proud that will continue.