moved for leave to introduce Bill C-228, an act to establish the office of Pension Ombudsman to investigate administrative difficulties encountered by persons in their dealings with the Government of Canada in respect of benefits under the Canada Pension Plan or the Old Age Security Act or tax liability on such benefits and to review the policies and practices applied in the administration and adjudication of such benefits and liabilities.
Mr. Speaker, I have introduced this bill today to create the office of a pension ombudsman simply in response to the overwhelming volume of casework that members of Parliament deal with at their offices of frustrated Canadians who have nowhere to turn with their valid and legitimate grievances associated with the administration of the Canada pension plan, the OAS or the GIS.
We believe it is due to the hasty cutbacks to the civil service during the 1990s and we believe that an unfair burden has been placed on members of Parliament with no corresponding budget to provide service to Canadians.
The purpose of this bill is to establish the office of a pension ombudsman whose function it would be to assist persons dealing with the Government of Canada in respect of benefits under the Canada pension plan, the Old Age Security Act or tax liabilities in cases where they are dealt with unfairly or unreasonably, or with unreasonable delay, which is often the case. Even if someone can get access to service, the delays are so unreasonable that it is truly justice denied.
The ombudsman would investigate complaints and report on complaints that were not satisfactorily resolved. The reports may be referred to the relevant minister as to the specific details of these complaints. The ombudsman would provide great comfort to the many Canadians who are frustrated by the bureaucratic logjam of trying to have their complaints dealt with in any kind of reasonable timeframe.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)