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  • CCPA in Europe for CETA speaking tour October 17, 2017
    On September 21, Canada and the European Union announced that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a controversial NAFTA-plus free trade deal initiated by the Harper government and signed by Prime Minister Trudeau in 2016, was now provisionally in force. In Europe, however, more than 20 countries have yet to officially ratify the deal, […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Twelve year study of an inner-city neighbourhood October 12, 2017
    What does twelve years of community organizing look like for a North End Winnipeg neighbourhood?  Jessica Leigh survey's those years with the Dufferin community from a community development lens.  Read full report.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Losing your ID - even harder to recover when you have limited resources! October 10, 2017
    Ellen Smirl researched the barriers experienced by low-income Manitobans when faced with trying to replace lost, stolen, or never aquired idenfication forms. Read full report here.  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA recommendations for a better North American trade model October 6, 2017
    The all-party House of Commons trade committee is consulting Canadians on their priorities for bilateral and trilateral North American trade in light of the current renegotiation of NAFTA. In the CCPA’s submission to this process, Scott Sinclair, Stuart Trew, and Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood argue for a different kind of trading relationship that is inclusive, transformative, and […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Ontario’s fair wage policy needs to be refreshed September 28, 2017
    The Ontario government is consulting on ways to modernize the province’s fair wage policy, which sets standards for wages and working conditions for government contract workers such as building cleaners, security guards, building trades and construction workers. The fair wage policy hasn’t been updated since 1995, but the labour market has changed dramatically since then. […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

EI Financing: We Told You So

On the first of this month, I appeared before the Senate’s Standing Committee on National Finance regarding the Employment Insurance (EI) provisions of the 2009 Budget Implementation Act. The Senate recently posted the transcript online.

A fellow panellist was Michel Bédard, former Chief Actuary of the EI Fund. Last year, he and I appeared in the same panel before the same committee regarding the 2008 Budget Implementation Act. We both argued then that, if unemployment increased, the government’s quasi-reserve of $2 billion would quickly prove insufficient to maintain (let alone improve) EI benefits without hiking premiums.

Budget 2009 implicitly acknowledges that this concern was valid. Specifically, it suggests that a further $4.5 billion will be needed to freeze premiums for two years given higher unemployment.

This year, I focussed more on the urgent need to improve EI benefits than on financing issues. The discussion later turned to other matters of interest to Senators, including training and procurement policy.

UPDATE (April 29): I have some more EI commentary in today’s Toronto Star.

Enjoy and share:

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