Kenney calls social security backlog unacceptable, accused of dragging heels

Employment Minister Jason Kenney says the massive backlog plaguing the government's social security tribunal is unacceptably large.

OTTAWA — Employment Minister Jason Kenney says the massive backlog plaguing the government’s social security tribunal is unacceptably large.

Kenney says the government was unaware when it formed the new panel in the spring of 2013 that it was inheriting a backlog of thousands of old-age security and Canada Pension Plan disability appeals from the previous system.

Liberal MP Rodger Cuzner asked the minister at a committee hearing why it took more than a year to bring on additional staff to handle the backlog as it’s swelled to more than 11,000.

The tribunal was ostensibly created to provide a more efficient appeal process for those denied employment insurance, CPP and old-age security benefits.

Kenney says part of the reason for the backlog is because new tribunal members had to go through a 12-month screening process to ensure they were qualified.

He says he secured cabinet approval earlier today to bring on 22 additional part-timers to help deal with the pileup of cases.

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