Standing Up for Jobs and Job-Creators!

October 11, 2021
Ottawa Journal (October 11 – October 15, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P. (Dufferin-Caledon)

Recently, I’ve been hearing a lot of concern about a proposal in Parliament supported by the opposition parties to, among other things; create a 45-day work year through extremely generous Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

This ‘plan’ would cost Canadians nearly $7 billion annually and increase premiums for employees and employers permanently by a whopping 35 per cent – killing jobs and stopping our fragile economic recovery in its tracks. Not to mention, working for 45 days and collecting EI for the rest of the year – the centerpiece of their plan – is irresponsible and is offensive to hard-working Canadians.

Our Government has been the only voice in Parliament to unanimously oppose this completely reckless plan. We voted against it because we understand the harm it would cause workers and businesses, both small and large. Instead, we’re doing more to help support jobs and stand up for Canada’s job-creators.

Recently, our Government announced major steps to limit future increases in Employment Insurance premiums. These positive changes will support job creation by leaving more money in the hands of businesses and their employees. This comprehensive three-step plan will support the ongoing economic recovery and improve the Employment Insurance system.

First, our Government will stop the expected Canadian Employment Insurance Financing Board’s increase of 15 cents to EI premiums for 2011, by limiting the maximum increase to 5 cents per $100 of insurable earnings. This will save employers and employees $1.2 billion in 2011 relative to a 15-cent increase. It also means that the 2011 EI premium rate cannot exceed $1.78 per $100 of insurable earnings – at nearly the lowest levels in 30 years. This is on top of the estimated $9.2 billion in relief provided by freezing EI premiums over the last two years when it was needed most.

Second, our Government will be limiting the maximum increase in premium rates for subsequent years to 10 cents per $100 of insurable earnings. This will save employers and employees another $600 million per year in coming years relative to the current limit.
Our plan balances the genuine importance of preventing large EI rate increases, which would jeopardize our fragile economic recovery and the unavoidable need to bring the EI account back to balance over time.

Finally, our Government will launch consultations on ways to build on the improvements we have already introduced to the system. You may recall that our Government has already taken landmark action to take political interference out of the EI program. We have taken real action to guarantee EI premiums are only used to pay for the EI program, preventing future governments from setting rates artificially high.

While we have a solid foundation in place, our Government still wants to hear from Canadians and businesses on how the EI rate setting mechanism can be further improved to ensure more stable, predictable rates in the years ahead. We will announce specific details on these consultations shortly and I encourage employers and employees to get involved.