‘EI will be managed on a truly break-even basis’


Greg Weston questions the existence of the Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board.

But in all three years the board has been in existence, the Harper government has simply capped EI rates to spare Canadian workers from potentially huge premium increases. As a result, the rate-setting agency has yet to set a single rate.

The board’s other main responsibility is to invest any surplus EI funds. That has never happened, either. Since the government started capping EI contribution rates, the employment insurance program has been running a deficit now totalling almost $9 billion.

The NDP is unimpressed. For the record, here is how Jim Flaherty explained the CEIFB in announcing its creation.

The employment insurance program is a safety net for struggling Canadian workers. To strengthen the EI account, our government is creating the Canada employment insurance financing board. Starting in 2009, this new, independent crown corporation will be responsible for implementing a new EI premium rate-setting mechanism and maintaining a cash reserve of $2 billion provided by the government. With this reform, Canadian workers and communities can be confident that EI will be managed on a truly break-even basis.


‘EI will be managed on a truly break-even basis’

  1. Sir Humphrey ~ Why should we close a hospital because it has no patients? We don’t disband the Army just because there isn’t a war

    • Your mindless quoting always becomes ridiculous when said quotes are put in context…

      That episode of Yes Minister ended with them finding an alternate use for the empty hospital (housing refugees).

      I don’t hear the CPC proposing an alternative use for the staff at the EI board.  Certainly to extend Sir Humphrey’s analogy to the EI situation would be to suggest the EI board should be shut down and the staff reallocated within the public serivce.

  2. If the people at CEIFB have time on their hands, maybe Diane Finley could put them to work answering phones.

  3. Meanwhile Tony Clement claims to be reducing red tape – for every new reg, an old one will be eliminated.  Seems more like a replacement program.

    • What a stupid ides. How about judging the regulations on their merits, not their quantity.

  4. I find it down right ridiculous that the NDP (read current and former big union reps) would wish an employee’s job eliminated just because there was not enough work to do, lol

  5. I must have missed this. An investment board for surplus EI funds? Since EI funds are typically needed NOW, why would one invest the cash other than in highly liquid investments? Hardly need an investment board for that. 

    Cripes, the personal injury lawyer strikes again. He must have taken some inspiration from the CPP board? Totally different investment horizons no?

    (BTW- one of the local malls here is partially a CPP holding- doing booming business too. Wee Jimmie better not frack the CPP investment board up).

    • On the surface, having an investment board seems like a good idea in years when the EI fund is running a surplus.  Better than just piling that surplus into general revenues and forgetting that those surpluses are designed to take care of the bad years when bubbles burst and people lose their livelihoods, anyway.

      Personally, I’d like to see the feds put legislation in place that prevents them from raiding dedicated insurance and/or pension programs when their budget projections fall short in other areas.  Seems like a good solution to Martin’s previous EI raiding problem.

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