Better Pay and Benefits

Parliament must act urgently to make sure workers aren’t left behind

September 21, 2022

Bruske: MPs must extend temporary help to unemployed workers and act swiftly to permanently fix Canada’s broken EI system.

OTTAWA – Canada’s unions are urging members of Parliament to stand up for workers and their families by acting urgently to extend temporary Employment Insurance rules until a permanent fix can be implemented.

“Unless MPs and the government take action this week, the EI program will revert to the old pre-COVID rules, leaving thousands unable to access benefits. Precarious workers, many of them women and racialized workers, would be hit hardest,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “People are still facing enormous challenges. Reverting EI back to Harper-era rules will mean thousands of workers are unable to access help, just when they need it most.”

Bruske explained that the end of the enhanced EI measures, put in place to help workers through job losses and layoffs during the pandemic, means thousands of workers who still depend on these benefits will struggle to qualify, while costs for everyday necessities like food, fuel and housing, continue to skyrocket.

‘’It is wrong for the government to now abandon people being thrown out of work,’’ added Bruske. “We need our elected representatives to urgently work together to extend temporary measures until Canada’s broken EI system can be permanently improved, as the government has promised to do.”

Bruske added that Canada’s unions welcomed New Democrats and Liberals working together to provide emergency help for people and urge all parties to now work together to fix EI, hold mega-profitable corporations to account and make sure struggling families are not left behind.

“Pierre Poilievre has a record of cuts to health care, cuts to support to the unemployed, and attacks on workers. Now, while Poilievre and the Conservatives talk loudly about inflation, they actually oppose help for families in need,” said Bea Bruske. “As so many families continue to struggle with the ongoing affordability crisis, it is critical MPs from all parties now come together to help families in need and make sure companies making colossal profits are made to pay their fair share.’’

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