Canada’s unions are calling on the federal Conservatives to stop unnecessary procedural delays and political posturing and join with the government and opposition parties to extend EI benefits.
Members of Parliament are currently debating Bill C-24, which would extend EI benefits, currently set to begin expiring at the end of March, by another 24 weeks, or into the fall.
“Politicians must urgently work together to pass this legislation,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the CLC. “The Conservatives’ delays are putting vulnerable workers at increased risk of losing benefits they need.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the lives of millions of Canadians and on the economy. Workers have struggled to find and keep jobs over the past year, and many are still relying on EI benefits to keep them afloat. Without swift action by Parliament, the situation will become even more dire.
“Robust debate is important for any legislation but that isn’t what is happening here. Canadians expect responsible decision-making that has their best interests in mind,” said Yussuff. “Political leaders must never play partisan games with people’s lives. Lawmakers must pass Bill C-24; millions of Canadians are counting on this extension.”
Going forward, Canada must work to disaster-proof its economy by creating an inclusive, adequate, streamlined, and simplified EI program that doesn’t disadvantage low-paid workers in non-standard employment.
As Canada recovers from the pandemic, there is also an important need for greater access to training opportunities for jobless workers looking to retrain or improve their skill set while receiving EI and recovery benefits.
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CLC Media Relations