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Making Employment Insurance Work Better for Canadians

Ottawa, Ontario—The Harper Government today announced improvements to Employment Insurance to make it work better for Canadians. The announcement was made by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

“As Canada faces unprecedented skills shortages, it will be critical to better connect Canadians with available jobs in their local area,” said Minister Finley. “Today, we are announcing improvements to EI that will help Canadians who want to work, get back to work.”

The improvements will enhance the assistance provided to people collecting EI benefits. Canadians receiving EI benefits will now receive comprehensive job postings on a daily basis from multiple sources. This will ensure that Canadians receiving EI benefits are made aware of the jobs available in their local area.

The improvements include measures to better connect the EI and Temporary Foreign Workers program to ensure Canadians are aware of and can apply for local jobs before employers are approved to hire temporary foreign workers.

The Government will also define what constitutes suitable employment as well as what constitutes a reasonable job search. This will strengthen the requirements for EI claimants to actively look for and accept all suitable work.

“As Canada faces unprecedented skills shortages, it will be critical to better connect Canadians with available jobs in their local area,” added Minister Finley. “Clarifying what is expected of claimants looking for work is just one element of our broader plan to encourage and support Canadians as they seek to return to work. Under our plan, Canadians will always benefit financially from accepting suitable employment.”

“It is important that we make changes now to ensure the EI program is working most effectively for Canada and Canadians,” concluded Minister Finley.

Economic Action Plan 2012 announced additional measures that strengthen work incentives, such as enhancing the “working while on claim” provision and adopting a national “best weeks” approach to calculating a claimant’s weekly EI benefit amount to better reflect local labour market conditions. More information is available at www.actionplan.gc.ca.

Alyson Queen    5/24/2012


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