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  • CCPA welcomes Randy Robinson as new Ontario Director March 27, 2019
    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is pleased to announce the appointment of Randy Robinson as the new Director of our Ontario Office.  Randy’s areas of expertise include public sector finance, the gendered rise of precarious work, neoliberalism, and labour rights. He has extensive experience in communications and research, and has been engaged in Ontario’s […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Budget hints at priorities for upcoming […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Boots Riley in Winnipeg May 11 February 22, 2019
    Founder of the political Hip-Hop group The Coup, Boots Riley is a musician, rapper, writer and activist, whose feature film directorial and screenwriting debut — 2018’s celebrated Sorry to Bother You — received the award for Best First Feature at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards (amongst several other accolades and recognitions). "[A] reflection of the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 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
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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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