NDP Fights Service Cuts at Canada Revenue Agency

April 29, 2005

"Liberal belt-tightening shouldn't kill important public services": Wasylycia-Leis and Blaikie

OTTAWA -- New Democrat MPs Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North) and Bill Blaikie (Elmwood Transcona) today brought their opposition to cuts to over-the-counter tax services to the door of the Canada Revenue Agency Tax Services Office in Winnipeg.

Over-the-counter payments will no longer be possible, receipts will no longer be issued on the spot and appointments will be needed to discuss tax matters rather than being provided on a walk-in basis.

"We want to alert Canadians right across the country that when the tax crunch comes next year, many of the services they depend on will be gone" said Wasylycia-Leis. "These cuts are unjustified and the NDP will fight to see these services are reinstated."

The cutbacks will affect service in 47 locations across Canada and will affect service to both individuals and businesses. They are linked to the federal 'expenditure review' where government departments must meet specified cost reduction targets.

"The Liberals don't seem to understand the basic concept that public services are there to serve the public," declared Blaikie. "The need for these services may lessen over time, but right now many people depend on the services that are being cut-seniors, people whose first language is not English or French and those unable to afford computers and internet services are being needlessly victimized."

"If Canadians have become cynical and turned off of politics because of years of broken Liberal promises, I can't imagine what they'll say about the CRA motto 'More ways to serve you' when the full impact of these service cutbacks sinks in," said Wasylycia-Leis.

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For more information, please contact:
Ian Capstick, NDP Caucus press secretary: (613) 720-6400
Judy Wasylycia-Leis: (204) 984-1767
Bill Blaikie: (204) 984-2499