On April 1, the Tories unveiled a series of promises geared particularly towards workers who are in-between jobs or who are employed in vulnerable sectors. According to the Conservative Party website, the six-part plan will consist of the following:
*Extending for two years the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program, which helps unemployed older workers in smaller communities affected by significant downsizing, closures or ongoing high unemployment.
*Extending the Work-Sharing Program for an additional 16 weeks to help avoid layoffs and protect local jobs during a temporary downturn.
*Expanding the Wage Earner Protection Program, introduced in 2008, to cover unpaid wages and vacation pay for employees who are negatively affected by a company’s unsuccessful attempt at restructuring.
*Extending two Employment Insurance pilot programs, Working While on Claim and Best 14 Weeks, to support seasonal workers in areas of high unemployment.
*Enhancing the Canada Student Loan Program to increase the income threshold for loans and grants to part-time students and reduce the in-study loan interest rate to zero, making it easier for individuals to study part-time while still working.
*Eliminating mandatory retirement for workers in the federally-regulated sector to give employees the option of continuing to work.