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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

Getting the Facts Straight on EI Changes

In a guest post at the Broadbent Institute, I flesh out some of the impacts of EI changes with three (fairly typical) hypothetical stories of unemployed Canadians. There are certainly more extreme consequences felt by some already.  At least these folks have access to the Board of Referees. Many fear that access to natural justice will be threatened as we transition from the old appeals system to the new downsized Social Security Tribunal starting April 1st.

Punitive changes to the definitions of suitable work, combined with cuts to Service Canada front-line workers, and a down-sized appeals process make for a very worrying combination.

The best way to get the facts straight is to tell the stories of ordinary Canadians. We need to explain how these changes are affecting our lives and our communities if there is to be broader action.  This discussion shouldn’t be limited to national newspapers. We need to talk to our friends, our family, our coworkers, and our elected representatives. It should be happening in our living rooms, our churches, our community centres.

Marlene Giersdorf, the single mother from PEI who gained national attention protesting her disentitlement to EI, is surely the tip of the iceberg. Many more are likely too afraid to come forward, or have too much to lose. But she is a great example of the impact of EI changes and the importance of fighting back – her benefits were recently reinstated.

Town halls on EI are taking place across Canada right now – find one in your community and tell your story. It could be any one of us – we’re all vulnerable.

 

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