Diane Finley, today. “Over the summer we’ve been conducting meetings on EI and Mr. Ignatieff and the Liberal members have publicly stated they are not willing to move off their 360 hour entry point for Employment Insurance,” she said, describing the position as “academic fantasy land.”
Pierre Poilievre, Friday. “The bottom line is we’re not going to be supporting the notion that someone could collect EI for almost a year after working only 360 hours or nine weeks,” Poilievre said in an interview Friday. “All the costing shows that a nine-week work year would cost billions and the only way to fund it is through higher taxes, so we can’t support that proposal.”
Michael Ignatieff, Thursday. “I’ve always indicated a certain flexibility on 360 but not that much,” Ignatieff said. “So we’re going to have some tough discussions with the government.”
Michael Ignatieff, last month. The Liberals have been pressing for a uniform eligibility standard and had initially been advocating a system in which anyone who works 360 hours would qualify for EI. Now, Mr. Ignatieff has indicated that as long as the reform provides some fairness and equity, he’s willing to negotiate with the governing Tories as they strive to reach a deal before Parliament returns in late September.