It's time to scrap Phoenix and start over

Imagine there was a large Canadian business that had failed to pay its employees on a regular basis. Maybe the company had installed a new payroll system many months ago and it wasn’t working properly. So some employees weren’t getting paid the right amount and others weren’t getting paid at all.

If it went on too long, the government might demand answers from the owners of the company, perhaps even talk about imposing penalties on the business if it didn’t fix things fast. Well, in this case, of course, it’s the government itself that can’t pay its workers.

The Phoenix fiasco has gone on too long. Before there were computers and automated payroll systems, public servants got paid on a timely basis. And although the federal government employs thousands of people and has complicated requirements, it’s not like they’re the biggest employer in the world.

Public servants in the United States, France and the UK are getting paid somehow. Union leaders are right: the Phoenix system should be completely scrapped and the government should start over. Any further delay and any more money spent on Phoenix are simply indefensible.

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