Today, the Canada Revenue Agency announced that of audited CERB recipients, 65% were not eligible to claim CERB payments. It should be noted that the CRA was only auditing cases which it considered “high risk” of being fraudulent in their claiming of the CERB payments. With that said, the CRA says it has reviewed $5.29-billion in payments, which has resulted in $3.42-billion in debts, meaning 65 per cent of the payments were deemed fraudulent.
The news has resulted in calls to expand the CRA’s audit of CERB, as the proportion of fraudulent to legitimate payments seems quite high. The CRA did not respond to questions about whether it would result in the agency expanding the scope of its investigations into fraudulent CERB payments, however, a spokesperson did say that the CRA will be continuing investigations into at least 2025.
Wes McLean is a Senior Consultant with the Capital Hill Group, who spent 18 years advising conservative governments in Ottawa, New Brunswick and Manitoba. He most recently served as deputy chief of staff to Premier Blaine Higgs.