AES reorganization more likely to cause new problems than solve existing ones: Michael

NDP Leader and AES Critic Lorraine Michael

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) says the changes government is making to the Department of Advanced Education and Skills have the potential to cause more problems than they are solving. She is particularly concerned about the ramifications for people who depend on income support to survive.

“People applying to the Department of Advanced Education and Skills for Income Support are waiting for hours on the phone and then weeks for their application to be processed,” Michael said in the House of Assembly today.

“Now we hear of departmental changes that will lump all direct client services — from people looking to start a business to people seeking child support — into one branch.

“I ask the Premier, how will these changes improve this already badly functioning system?”

Michael likens the new system to a call centre which will have to handle widely varying types of inquiries. “Are these changes designed to better serve people, or to improve the Department’s bottom line?” she asked.

Michael is concerned, too, about the focus of the large and unwieldy department. “The Minister says these changes are designed to meet labour market demands,” she said. “I ask the Premier, what do labour market demands have to do with spousal and child support or income support? What are these changes really about?”

Associated Caucus Members: 

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