Employment Insurance and Job Development

WHEREAS Canada is comprised of rural and urban communities all of which require a healthy job market to provide adequate and expanding, full-time employment opportunities to remain viable; and

WHEREAS a high percentage of rural and smaller urban communities are currently dependent upon a combination of seasonal employment and Employment Insurance (EI) for their continued existence (1*); and

WHEREAS the lack of full-time employment opportunities in concert with the currently restrictive EI Act and Regulations are forcing out-migration of large numbers of workers, particularly young Canadians, from such communities thereby stripping these communities of their life-blood and their ability to survive, leaving seasonal industries without an adequate work force, and turning the communities into ghost towns (2*,3*,4*); and

WHEREAS more focussed and aggressive federal government investment is required in job creation and skills training to strengthen the viability of communities currently dependent on seasonal work; therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that a Liberal government will establish an Employment Development Strategy with related Programs focused on developing full-time employment opportunities in communities throughout Canada which currently depend upon seasonal employment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a Liberal government will financially participate with provincial and territorial governments to establish skills training in support of such opportunities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:  That a Liberal government will overhaul EI to provide reasonable support for seasonal workers so as to sustain the livelihood and viability of their communities until the benefits of the proposed Employment Development Strategy are realised.

Senior Liberals’ Commission

(*1) http://www.capebretonpost.com/Opinion/Letters-to-the-Editor/2013-03-18/article-3201243/Employment-insurance-supports-seasonal-workers-vital-to-the-economy/1>

(*2) <http://www.trurodaily.com/Opinion/Editorials/2013-11-28/article-3517825/Finger-pointing-will-not-solve-out-migration/1>

(*3) <http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/ei-reforms-work-against-tories-on-east-coast-234188401.html>

(*4) http://www.manitoulin.ca/2012/05/30/ei%E2%80%88changes-will-hit-the-north-hard/ <http://www.manitoulin.ca/2012/05/30/ei?changes-will-hit-the-north-hard/>

5 Responses to “Employment Insurance and Job Development”

  1. Henry Shewfelt 11. Feb, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

    This policy appears to be a thinly disguised program to benefit rural areas in preference to urban areas with an Employment Development Strategy and related programs. In my view the strategy needs to be balanced between urban and rural needs with financial benefits based on a pro rata share for each area based on population.

  2. allanportis@gmail.com 11. Feb, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    I agree entirely with the need for an Employment Development Strategy and Skills Training Support for communities with heavy seasonal employment patterns. But we need to be very careful we don’t use UI to embed an “entitlement” working arrangement of “six months on and six months off” in those communities, nor gaming the system with job-sharing arrangements to meet minimum UI work requirements.

    Allan Portis

  3. Lois McGrattan 11. Feb, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

    I agree that seasonal work is not the best answer, but is there any way that work could be available for these people when their seasonal work is completed. Part time work for the off season? Manufacture/make something for some company that would fulfill their needs? Goods that can be made here instead of overseas for instance.

    Maybe it sound crazy, but it is a thought!

  4. Lois Cooper 12. Feb, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    I have watched Employment Development and Training programs all my life in a cottage area (Muskoka) in Ontario all for nought. A few people (same ones over and over) fly the same untruthful business proposals and get government funds to further their own nest. After all governments look silly if no-one takes up the offered funds.
    However in a rural, cottage area there will never be high paying jobs brought on by these programs. The population is more than quadruple in the warm months, and it will always be that way. So there is not enough population to use the services of year round businesses.
    The fairy tale that high tech jobs will come here is just that. High tech people tend to live and work in clusters in urban areas, not in the woods.
    The suggestion of helping employers with new hires is probably a better choice especially if they have to keep the employee for 2 years. The employee would have experience and a better chance of year-round employment in the long run. The minimum wage for this should be $15 an hour – a living wage.
    Employment insurance will continue to be a most economic driver in these geographical areas. I don’t think workers should be made to feel guilty about relying on EI to get through the year. They struggle to get by as it is.
    If they could work year round they would. Most anyway. Don’t punish all for the sins of a few.

  5. Dorothy Cruickshank 12. Feb, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    This is a serious problem. Perhaps industry would be inclined to invest with tax incentives balanced by a workforce prepared to work 12 months of the year. Job share has been successful. A child of the 50’s myself I remember manufactures taking responsibility for training & educating employees on the job.

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