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  • CCPA-BC welcomes Emira Mears as new Associate Director February 11, 2019
    This week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office is pleased to welcome Emira Mears to our staff team as our newly appointed Associate Director. Emira is an accomplished communications professional, digital strategist and entrepreneur. Through her former company Raised Eyebrow, she has had the opportunity to work with many organizations in the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study explores media coverage of pipeline controversies December 14, 2018
    Supporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape. Focusing on pipeline […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study highlights ‘uncomfortable truth’ about racism in the job market December 12, 2018
    "Racialized workers in Ontario are significantly more likely to be concentrated in low-wage jobs and face persistent unemployment and earnings gaps compared to white employees — pointing to the “uncomfortable truth” about racism in the job market, according to a new study." Read the Toronto Star's coverage of our updated colour-coded labour market report, released […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Uploading the subway will not help Toronto commuters December 12, 2018
    The Ontario government is planning to upload Toronto’s subway, claiming it will allow for the rapid expansion of better public transit across the GTHA, but that’s highly doubtful. Why? Because Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek’s emphasis on public-private partnerships and a market-driven approach suggests privatization is the cornerstone of the province’s plan. Will dismembering the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2018 State of the Inner City Report: Green Light Go...Improving Transportation Equity December 7, 2018
    Getting to doctors appointments, going to school, to work, attending social engagments, picking up groceries and even going to the beach should all affordable and accessible.  Check out Ellen Smirl's reserach on transportation equity in Winnipeg in this year's State of the Inner City Report!
    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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