Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), current year claims intake data is not tracked according to federal ridings. For the 2009 calendar year to August 31, 2009, nationally, Service Canada received a total of 2.25 million initial and renewal claims. This is a year-over-year increase of 34.6%, or 579,328 more claims than during the same period in 2008.
In response to (b), the average time from date of application for benefits to the first payment was 23 days for the period of January 2009 to September 2009.
In response to (c), yes.
In response to (d), a total of 1,619 people were brought on strength to assist with EI claims processing nationally between January and August 2009.
In response to (i), the cost of hiring new employees for processing between April 1 and August 31, 2009, was $33,233,000.
In response to (e), not applicable.
In response to (i), between April and August 2009, additional costs of processing the increased volume of applications above the hiring of new employees was $9,673,000, including costs for postage, electronic post mark, IT infrastructure, and accommodation.