Open letter to MP Ryan Leef:
Previously I had written you expressing my concerns about the local Canada Revenue Agency office shutting down, for which I have received no reply.
Last week, you wrote to Yukoners in both papers and in reading your letter, I wonder who you are actually working for … the people of the Yukon who voted you in, or Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I understand there is a fine line there, but instead of supporting the Yukon people and fighting for what’s right in Whitehorse, you just passed on the same message that we have already been hearing.
We are a capital city in this country. Besides Yellowknife (shut down three years ago) how many other capital cities in Canada don’t have a tax office? We have unique situations here that do not exist in southern Canada. The people making these decisions have no clue what it is like to live in Pelly Crossing or Watson Lake and they all have computers, educations and paycheques every other Friday.
No one has ever said we were being singled out, and if the rest of the country wants to sit idle while the tax department disappears out from underneath them that is up to them. Yukoners are trying very hard to tell everyone that we will not sit idle and let this happen.
We are fighting for our rights as Canadians, as per the Taxpayer Bill of Rights number six: “You have the right to complete, accurate, clear, and timely information.”
I am sorry, but calling a 1-800 number to get printouts, remittance forms or information sent in two to three weeks is not timely. Talking to a faceless, practically nameless, person
who could be anywhere in the country is definitely not always accurate, clear or complete.
The list of items in your letter of services you can do online is impressive – if you have a computer, have knowledge how to use it, have already pre-registered for all services and do Internet banking. Otherwise it’s a two- to three-week process to get access to any of those services.
Continuity of service that you seem so confident will continue, will only be available to the taxpayers who have access to above services. For all other taxpayers, the services are coming to a grinding halt in Whitehorse.
I am glad you volunteered to help out taxpayers having problems getting access to CRA. I will personally be sending to you any taxpayer who doesn’t have access to CRA through a computer or can’t pass security to get the help they need on the phone lines.
I will help out Yukon taxpayers the best I can, but I am not CRA, and if the CRA isn’t going to be here for Yukon taxpayers then Ryan Leef’s office should be the next place they go, not to the private sector for free assistance.
Your staff can get authorizations signed and entered on the system, get printouts and information and be the mail drop-off for all returns and payments. You can hire the extra staff, put in the extra phone lines and be prepared to be the tax office help this community deserves and needs.
This coming tax season, your services are going to be needed!
Carol Church, H&R Block