Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau promises sweeping changes to EI system -

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau promises sweeping changes to EI system

Policy would reduce EI premiums, increase spending to the provinces for skills training by $500 million per year and reduce wait times for recipients


BOUCTOUCHE, N.B. — The federal Liberals are promising sweeping changes to the employment insurance system, including a reduction in premiums that won’t cut as much as what the Conservatives have promised.

The policy announced Tuesday would reduce EI premiums, increase spending to the provinces for skills training by $500 million per year and reduce wait times for recipients to receive their first payment.

The change in EI premiums would see them drop to $1.65 per $100 earned from $1.88.

That’s less than the $1.49 rate that the Tories promised in the 2015 budget, but the Liberals argue the extra $2 billion in revenue between the two figures would be reinvested under their plan.

The Liberals are also promising that if elected on Oct. 19, they would eliminate a rule that requires new workers or those re-entering the workforce after a two-year absence to work at least 910 hours before they become eligible for EI. Instead, the threshold would be set regionally.

All the changes would come into effect in the 2017 calendar year.

The Liberals unveiled the plan in New Brunswick as Justin Trudeau campaigns in the Maritimes, an area of the country where EI changes have angered many small communities that depend on the social safety program to help seasonal workers.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau spoke briefly about EI and jobs at a rally in Amherst, N.S., where he was peppered with questions about the possibility of a coalition government should no party win a majority next month.

Trudeau said Canadians don’t want a coalition if a party wins a minority government after the election.

“We will always be open to working with others,” Trudeau said.

“But the fact is Canadians aren’t interested in formal coalitions. Canadians want a clear government with a strong plan and come Oct. 19, that’s exactly what they’re going to get if they vote for the Liberal party.”

Talk of the possibility of a coalition government has grown in recent days.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper was asked Tuesday whether he thought it would be legitimate for parties with the majority of seats to form a government.

“My view is that the party that wins the most seats in our system forms the government,” he said while in Mississauga, Ont.

“I’ve always lived by that and I hope that party is us.”

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe said Monday he would be open to supporting a coalition with the New Democrats or the Liberals, but not the Conservatives.

Trudeau was campaigning alongside Bill Casey, the Liberal candidate for the Nova Scotia riding of Cumberland-Colchester.

Casey is a former Conservative MP who was expelled from the party in 2007 when he voted against the federal budget. At the time, Casey said he felt the budget would harm his province’s ability to secure revenues from the oil and gas sector.

His decision to stand up to Harper earned him cult-like status in the province. In 2008, he won the riding as an Independent, taking almost 70 per cent of the votes.



Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau promises sweeping changes to EI system

  1. There are many things that aren’t perfect in the nation and it seems correcting them all would be a major undertaking. One that is a particular pain is our level of over governing. A federal tax reduction is replaced by a provincial revenue increase as if some provincial watch dog is waiting for federal actions and jumping in to snap up the benifit from taxpayers. An example of this is after the Feds redistribute monies for medicare some provinces are charging premiums to their citizens. In BC a family of two pays about $1500/yr. in suplemental Provincial medicare costs in premiums along with a huge deductable for Pharmacare. The federal government should calculate this surcharge and deduct it from the amounts to be forwarded from their medicare warchest to each province that is guilty of such surcharging. Civic taxes have become a surrogate for the provincial governemt and its agencies to tax residents at yet another level of taxation. Our property taxes now only provide the cities with about 40% of the revenues collected, the rest goes to the Provincial Government and its Agencies. I don’t mind paying munciple taxes but I detest allowing the sticky fingers of Provincial Governments to intervene in every level of taxation our system has created. In BC if you take into account every collection fee structure governments have at their desposal, fully 82 cents of every dollar we earn are taxed away by this fee infrastructure. This includes federal, provincial and civic taxes, licenses, fees, permits, tolls, fares, taxes by another name-utilility rates, fuel surcharges, taxes on taxes, and variable sales taxes like in BC, a 15% tax on alchohol and above the included shelf prices with taxes already loaded in, a 12% on new and used vehicles, a hospitality room tax of 15%,transit fuel tax on fuels over and above the Fed. excise tax, the prov.road tax, and PST on both those taxes, carbon tax, enviro taxes for tires, batteries juice containers and electronic products. Need I say more all I see are taxes, taxes and more taxes and no service improvements in fact we are the butts of service reductions, why is that ? Want change vote independant and ignore the big three, the Conservatives, the NDP and the Liberals do not have the answers.

    • The conservatives are the only ones committed to reducing taxes federally where possible.

  2. Trudeau is in the old Liberal tax-and-spend mode – at least in his promises. I am sick and tred of both Libs and NDP bribing us with our own money!

    • The Conservatives have used “our own money” to run a 24/7 ad campaign. Are you sick of that too?
      They have used our money to appoint Conservative fundraisers like Duffy to the Senate and then tried to cover up a Deloite report about it. Are you sick of that too?
      Harper tried to bribe an electorate with child cheques in July – with a retroactive aspect to make it more memorable. Are you sick of that too?
      The Conservatives spent a boatload of money fighting Veterans in court. Are you sick of that too?
      The Conservatives introduce legislation without SCoC vetting, leading to costly lawsuits that void their bills. Are you sick of that too?
      After 9 long years, the list goes on and on – but that doesn’t matter to a deep blue partisan, does it?