Make EI work for workers! Call your elected representatives

Who to call: 

  • Justin Trudeau: Prime Minister (613) 992-4211
  • Chrystia Freeland: Finance Minister (613) 992-5234 or (416) 928-1451
  • Carla Qualtrough: Workforce Development Minister (613) 992-2957 or (778) 593-4007
  • Seamus O’Regan: Labour Minister (613) 992-0927 or (709) 772-4608
  • Your own MP: Type your postal code here: www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/search

Background: 

  • At the start of COVID, the federal government relaxed EI eligibility to improve access to emergency support for those most in need.
  • Without these supports, it would have been much worse for workers and their families due to the COVID closures, lockdowns and layoffs. 
  • Shamefully, the federal government allowed these temporary measures to expire last fall, without implementing the permanent changes needed to make EI work for workers.
  • As a result, workers have faced a huge jump in the qualifying hours required for both Regular and Special Benefits (parental, sickness, etc), and the allocation/clawback of separation payments. 
  • That makes it harder for workers of colour, women and those in precarious employment to access EI or live on it if they are lucky enough to get it.

Suggested talking points: 

Hi. My name is ______________ .

At the start of COVID, the federal government relaxed Employment Insurance eligibility to improve access to emergency support for those most in need.

Without these supports, it would have been much worse for workers and their families due to the COVID closures, lockdowns and layoffs. Statistics Canada has verified the dramatic, positive impact these changes had on improving workers' access to EI.

Reverting to the old rules has meant workers of colour, women and others in precarious jobs have a harder time accessing EI when they need it.

With a recession looming, an inaccessible and inadequate EI program will be another disaster for workers who need access to EI now and when the next crisis hits.

We need you to take the following action:

  • Extend the temporary EI measures as a bridge to permanent improvements
    Set a universal 360-hour or 12-week qualifying rule for up to 50 weeks of income support
  • Ensure migrant workers have access to EI
  • End harsh disqualification rules that cut off EI access to vulnerable workers
  • End misclassifications that leave employees wrongly called self-employed independent contractors with no EI access
  • Improve the weekly benefit rate and include a guaranteed weekly minimum
  • Provide income benefits so long as workers are in approved training
  • Fund a new, annual federal government contribution to pay for improvements, and staffing & ensure EI acts as an economic stabilizer at times of crisis 

My phone number is ________ and my mailing address is __________. 

I would appreciate a response.