EI changes positive, but much more to do to restore economic health: Canadian Chamber

(OTTAWA) – August 20, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Vice-President of Policy and Chief Economist, Trevin Stratton, issued the following statement today regarding today’s announced changes to the Employment Insurance Program:

“All Canadians understood the need to provide emergency temporary financial support to keep everybody afloat during the pandemic. Now is the time to focus on getting Canadians back to work, and to ensure the country’s long-term financial sustainability.

We agree with the need to modernize Employment Insurance in a way that ensures the system remains financially viable, focuses on strong education and training components, and allows for working while under claim. As government makes changes to the system, it must always ensure there is an incentive for Canadians to remain connected to the workforce.

Canadian businesses will support the freezing of EI contributions at 2020 levels, which will avoid placing an unfair burden on employers and employees who pay into the system.

We note the government’s assurance that these new measures will be in place for only one year.  Making these changes permanent would have seriously strained the government’s fiscal capabilities. We continue to advocate a growth-focused plan that will unlock economic capacity, fuel job creation and promote new business investment.

While we support the need to assist families and individuals through the current crisis, the Canadian Chamber believes our priority must be getting Canadians safely back to work and ensuring the country’s long-term prosperity.

The Canadian Chamber reiterates the need for meaningful continuing engagement between government, labour and the business community. By working together, we can chart a path to recovery that is inclusive, environmentally responsible and innovative.”

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About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

For more information, please contact:
Phil Taylor
[email protected]