Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to respond to the member for Nanaimo—Cowichan and her concerns about providing services to out-of-work Canadians.
Canadians gave the government a strong mandate to complete Canada's economic recovery and to return to balanced budgets. That is what we are doing. Our Conservative government is committed to delivering the highest quality service in a way that is effective, efficient and focused on the needs of Canadians.
The hon. member raises concerns about dealing with backlogs in employment insurance. That is precisely why we are taking steps to improve processes and modernize the delivery of EI to Canadians.
First, it is important to note that no Service Canada centres are closing as a result of these measures. In-person services will not be affected. We are introducing a new service delivery model over the next three years that will include the processing of EI claims at 22 sites across the country. Through technological advancements, Service Canada is modernizing the delivery of one of the federal government's cornerstone social services.
Historically, the EI claims process was designed and administered as an entirely paper based program. By increasing automation, we are making it easier for Canadians to receive information and services from government when and how they need them.
The Service Canada office in my area of Collingwood benefits tremendously from these reforms that our government is moving forward on. The hard-working employees at our office work with the constituents and are utilizing Collingwood's Service Canada office to ensure that there are faster and more efficient services provided to our citizens in Simcoe Grey.
Canadians expect their hard-earned tax dollars to be used as effectively and efficiently as possible. The Government of Canada is working hard, on behalf of Canadians, to eliminate the deficit while improving services we deliver.