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Canadian insurance whistleblower to have final grievance hearing

Sylvie Therrien, the Vancouver-based federal fraud investigator who leaked documents she said showed that the government set quotas for denying Employment Insurance benefits to eligible claimants, has her final grievance meeting over her suspension this Thursday, September 12.

Therrien was suspended without pay in May after she sent documents to the media which alleged that investigators were told they should each find CDN $485,000 in annual savings by denying EI claims.

Thursday's meeting will be a long-distance phone session with Therrien and a staff representative of her union, The Canada Employment and Immigration Union, in Vancouver, talking to senior officials of Human Resources Canada in Ottawa. The department will then have 20 days to formally respond in writing.

When Therrien was publicly identified as the whistleblower in July she told CBC news that denying EI to eligible claimants "was just against my values, harassing claimants...trying to penalize them in order to save money for the government. We had quotas to meet every month."

Since Therrien's allegations became public, government officials have claimed that the numbers given to investigators to deny benefits were "targets" not quotas.

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