Ottawa tops up EI program

But the Conservatives refuse to budge on eligibility requirements

The Conservatives announced an expansion of employment insurance benefits on Monday amid calls from the opposition to overhaul the program’s eligibility requirements. The federal government now plans to pour an extra $500 million into the program to re-train long-tenured workers who’ve lost their job. All three opposition parties have been loudly clamouring for a slackening of eligibility requirements (to 360 hours worked), with the Liberals hinting they might move to defeat the government on the issue. However, Human Resources Minister Diane Finley re-iterated the Conservatives’ opposition to the proposal on Monday, saying, “This government does not support this ’45-day work year’ idea and neither do Canadians.”


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