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  • Report looks at captured nature of BC’s Oil and Gas Commission August 6, 2019
    From an early stage, BC’s Oil and Gas Commission bore the hallmarks of a captured regulator. The very industry that the Commission was formed to regulate had a significant hand in its creation and, too often, the interests of the industry it regulates take precedence over the public interest. This report looks at the evolution […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Correcting the Record July 26, 2019
    Earlier this week Kris Sims and Franco Terrazzano of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wrote an opinion piece that was published in the Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, Winnipeg Sun, Ottawa Sun and Toronto Sun. The opinion piece makes several false claims and connections regarding the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP), which we would like to correct. The […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Rental Wage in Canada July 18, 2019
    Our new report maps rental affordability in neighbourhoods across Canada by calculating the “rental wage,” which is the hourly wage needed to afford an average apartment without spending more than 30% of one’s earnings.  Across all of Canada, the average wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $22.40/h, or $20.20/h for an average one […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada July 9, 2019
    CCPA senior economist David Macdonald co-authored a new report, Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada­—released by Upstream Institute in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)—tracks child poverty rates using Census 2006, the 2011 National Household Survey and Census 2016. The report is available for […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Fossil-Power Top 50 launched July 3, 2019
    What do Suncor, Encana, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Fraser Institute and 46 other companies and organizations have in common? They are among the entities that make up the most influential fossil fuel industry players in Canada. Today, the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP) is drawing attention to these powerful corporations and organizations with the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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EI and CPP Appeals consolidation begins

Regulations guiding the new Social Security Tribunal came into force April 1st, 2013, and are available online at the Canada Gazette.  The SST combines the first and second level of client appeals for CPP, OAS, and EI into one tribunal.

HRSDC expects that the changes will result in $25 million in annual savings, due to centralized administration and the magic of electronic technology. Critics point out that cuts to Service Canada staff and confusing changes to Employment Insurance rules (such as the definition of suitable employment) are likely to result in a large number of clients with good cause to appeal. This is not the best time to completely overhaul an entire appeals process.

Sceptics also wonder if the changes in the appeals process, and the predictable increase in the backlog, were designed to discourage claimants from making an appeal in the first place. In the new process, as far as we understand it at this point, claimants must request reconsideration of the decision that they disagree with, file an appeal, justify their appeal if the Tribunal gives them notice that they are considering summary dismissal, request permission to appeal a decision by the SST, make a final appeal, and then one may take their case to the Federal Court system if necessary.

Causing further concern is the fact that appointments to the SST have been one-sided, compared to the balanced tripartite Board of Referees process.  For example, a former Conservative MLA is the only Nova Scotian that has been appointed to the SST so far.

The commentary following the regulations in the Gazette assures Canadians that efficiency will not trump the delivery of natural justice. Only time will tell.

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