CRA fires 232 employees for wrongfully claiming CERB
The number of CRA employees terminated for wrongfully claiming CERB at the height of the lockdowns has risen to 232.

TCS Wire

March 27, 2024

The number of CRA employees terminated for wrongfully claiming CERB at the height of the lockdowns has risen to 232.

CRA fires 232 employees for wrongfully claiming CERB

Many will remember the $2,000 monthly taxable benefit that was given to Canadians during a time when thousands of businesses were forced to close their doors by the government’s heavy-handed lockdown policies. We’re all still dealing with the inflation it created right now.

But while the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was arguably necessary to keep thousands of Canadians afloat as they dealt with mass job loss, it isn’t surprising that many took advantage of what some would consider a free lunch given its accessibility.

What is far more disappointing, though, is that those in the public sector tasked with administering the monthly payment took advantage of the scheme, apparently seeking to game the system they were a part of.

“Anyone who is found to be ineligible for the CERB must repay it,” CRA spokesperson Sylvie Branch said in a recent statement. “Any CRA employee who inappropriately applied for and received the CERB will be required to repay the amounts if they haven’t already done so,”

The CRA began a more in-depth investigation into those who’d wrongfully taken advantage of CERB last year, with the agency stating that there were 600 active investigations into employees.

Branch also explained that while many employees were ineligible, some were, and that there is a plurality of worker profiles at the CRA, such as students employed under temporary contracts.

“Being a current employee of the CRA does not necessarily mean an individual was ineligible for the CERB,” Branch said. “An internal review process to investigate each case is warranted as the CRA employs individuals with a variety of employment profiles such as temporary and student contracts; and, as such, individuals may have been eligible to receive the CERB at the time it was available.”

The CRA isn’t the only federal organization with employees who took advantage of the CERB money-printing scheme either. Employment and Social Development Canada, and, by extension, Service Canada, has also fired and revoked the security clearance of an additional 54 workers, bringing the number of federal public workers who gamed the system up to at least 286.

In a report presented before the Senate last week, the organization said that there were still 20 employees who are believed to have wrongfully acquired CERB and have yet to be punished.

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