Plans for update to EI system coming soon, Qualtrough says in budget hint

Some elements of last September's deal with the NDP to improve EI, including an increase in minimum support level, may now become permanent, hints Minister Qualtrough.

The Canadian Press with CNC files

OTTAWA — Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough says any changes to modernize the employment insurance system won't be done without considering the financial impact on workers and employers.

She also says the government will have to carefully make changes to the system so tinkering with one part of the decades-old system doesn't cause a cascade of problems.

The shortcomings of EI, flagged for years by experts and workers, were widely exposed by the pandemic. Only about 40 per of working Canadians qualified for EI, creating an outcry for a new income support system. In response, the federal Liberals created the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit, also known as CERB.

When the Liberals wound-down CERB last September, as a result of a deal with the opposition NDP in the current minority parliament, the minimum weekly EI benefit rate was hiked to $500. At the same time measures were introduced to speed up processing times.

Qualtrough says the government will be sharing its vision and plan for a modernized EI system, including how to address September's looming changes.

She also hints that some of those details may be coming in Monday's federal budget.


Share this story

Related stories

Take action

Help Grow Progressive Daily News